As part of the Justice & Diversity Center’s ongoing commitment to providing San Francisco’s youth with positive educational opportunities, this year the Day In Court program was expanded by bringing students to criminal courts at the Hall of Justice.
In early December, a group of nearly 50 seniors from Balboa High School’s Law Academy, a program designed to encourage and increase professional and career opportunities for traditionally underserved and diverse students, traveled to the Hall of Justice where they were met by lawyers, BASF volunteers, and judges.
During their time at courthouse, the students were able to observe jury trials, hear live witness testimony, and then discuss what they observed with the judges presiding over each case. Attorneys from the District Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office came together to deliver a thought-provoking, interactive discussion about youth and the criminal justice system drawing from real-life examples of the cases and issues they handle in court. The program culminated with a discussion between the students and the Honorable Jeffrey Ross, former BASF president and founder of the Day in Court program. By the conclusion of the program, the participating youth received a multi-sided, behind the scenes view of our system of criminal justice.
If you are interested in either volunteering for the Day in Court program at the Hall of Justice, or having a group of youth participate in this periodic program, please contact Day in Court co-chair, Adam Maldonado at firstname.lastname@example.org.