Published Nov. 1, 2013
By Kevin Shaub, KNDU TV
This is one brush with the law you want your kids to have.
More than 200 middle and high school students Friday attended the Youth and Justice Forum at Columbia Basin College.
The forum shows young people how the legal system works and encourages them to consider the potential careers within the justice system.
Retired superior court judge Dennis Yule started this forum eleven years ago. He says one mission of the forum is to promote racial and ethnic diversity in the justice system workforce. Yule says the make-up of the courts should reflect the make-up of the community.
"If people of color for example go into a courtroom and they are the only people of color in the courtroom the naturally may tend to feel uncomfortable and they wonder if they will be understood," Yule says.
Benton Franklin Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell greeted students as they showed up. Also attending the forum, newly appointed superior court judge Salvador Mendoza, the first Latino judge to sit on the bench in Franklin and Benton Counties.
Students from throughout the Mid-Columbia attended the forum, along with volunteers: police and corrections officers, attorneys, court clerks and reporters, interpreters, and forensic scientists.
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