Press Releases

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Oct 23, 2013

Ground-breaking program lets students hear real cases

NASHVILLE, Oct. 23, 2013 -- After a successful pilot program in the spring, the Academy of Law at Cane Ridge High School will install the newest members of its youth court program. Davidson County Juvenile Judge Sophia Crawford, whose support has been central to the development of this innovative collaboration, will officiate at the installation and swearing-in ceremonies at Cane Ridge High School on October 24, 2013.

The Cane Ridge High School's Restorative Court handles actual truancy cases referred to the Metro-Student Attendance Center (M-SAC) and the Metropolitan Nashville Juvenile Court. Cane Ridge Academy of Law students hear cases and serve as both prosecution and defense. They earn real-world experience in law and get a glimpse of a future in the courtroom. The program is a collaboration of the Tennessee Bar Association, Juvenile Court, M-SAC and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

"We had an amazing beginning last school year. The students have worked hard and the faculty, school administration and Central Office administration have been wonderfully supportive of this program that will change the lives of young people – both on the court and appearing before the court," said Denise Bentley, Statewide Coordinator of the Tennessee Youth Court Program. Dockets are planned through May first.  

WHAT:    Cane Ridge High School Restorative Court Installation and Swearing-in Ceremonies
WHO:     Juvenile Court Judge Sophia Crawford, Cane Ridge High School Academy of Law students
WHERE: Cane Ridge High School, 12848 Old Hickory Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37013
WHEN:   Thursday, October 24, 2014 at 10:15 a.m.

The Tennessee Youth Court Program spans the state with youth court programs in 16 counties. Tennessee youth courts, juvenile delinquency prevention and intervention programs, have achieved a 93 percent success rate.  Youth court programs are for first-time juvenile offenders who accept responsibility for low-level offenses.  A jury of their peers determines the youthful offender's sentence.

The Academy of Law at Cane Ridge High School is in its fourth year. Its mission is to provide an integrated project-based curriculum giving students the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for success in their post-secondary education experiences and in law-related careers.

M-SAC is operated by the Metro Nashville Juvenile Court in partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools and the Metro Nashville Police Department with the goal of decreasing truancy rates in Nashville schools by addressing the root causes.