Truckee Court wraps up the first year of peer court this evening, April 30 | SierraSun.com

Truckee Court wraps up the first year of peer court this evening, April 30

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Truckee Branch of the Superior Court of Nevada County is holding its final Peer Court meeting on Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. At the meeting, Truckee High School Principal Dr. David Putney and Superior Court Judge Robert L. Tamietti will recognize and award all the students, instructors, volunteer attorneys, police officers, and court staff who have volunteered their time and talents to the Peer Court program this year, as well as discuss and evaluate with the participants the successes and possible improvements for next yearand#8217;s Peer Court program.

The Peer Court program is a collaboration of the Truckee Branch of the Superior Court, Nevada County-Truckee Probation Department, Truckee Police Department, and the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District. After much planning, the program was implemented in September of 2011 as a way to divert low-level offenders out of the juvenile system and to instead hold them accountable to their peers to modify and correct their behavior.

Students charged with a minor offense, such as possessing small amounts of drugs or alcohol on campus, petty theft, or fighting on campus, may opt into Peer Court by admitting the charge, with the understanding that they will go before a jury of their student peers for the purpose of sentencing. A jury comprised of high school students and former defendants in Peer Court listens to the case and determines an appropriate sentence to help the offender get back on the right track.

Truckee High School students, under the supervision and tutelage of teacher Nik Fertitta and volunteer local attorneys, receive training about the court process so that they can serve as the prosecutor, defense counsel, bailiff, and court clerk during each Peer Court trial. Local volunteer attorneys, court staff and Truckee Police officers mentor the students through the trial process. Judge Tamietti presides as judge of the Truckee Branch Peer Court guiding all the participants through the program.

Anyone interested may join in this final celebratory meeting being held at the Truckee Branch of the Superior Court, 10075 Levon Ave., Suite 301, Truckee.

Please contact Court Operations Manager Helen Davis with any questions at 530-550-3000.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com