RE: DSM: Interest increasing?


Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Mon, 8 Jan 2001 15:16:11 -0500


> <<
> HOW ON EARTH CAN A JC OPERATE WITHOUT AN ACTIVE DEFENSE. I HAVE
> NEVER HEARD
> ANYTHING SO POSITIVELY NUTS.
> >>
> The only defense the defendant has is his/her word, which is
> either believed
> or not, whether it be the truth or not.

That's not true, at least at Fairhaven School.

The manner in which JC functions at Fairhaven is more like a grand jury. JC
hears cases by hearing the stories of plaintiffs and defendants. Then any
witnesses are heard, regardless of whether they, in the not-terribly-often
case of different stories, corroborate the plaintiff or defendant's story.

At that point JC votes on whether and what to charge. If they vote to
charge, the defendant enters a plea. If they plea not guilty, which is not
often, only then does it go to trial, which in our case is Judicial School
Meeting.

I think our system usually works very well. There was a time in our first
year where JC seemed to be stacked with certain teens who might have let
their buddies off while "putting it" to people they did not like. But
they're gone now, and plus the JC Clerk has, as a result of that experience,
become much more careful about ensuring that committees are really balanced
in terms of age.

-Joe Jackson



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