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Yorktown, Lakeland Students Graduate Youth Court, Ready to Prosecute Crimes

Yorktown Youth Court graduates, consisting of Lakeland and Yorktown students, participated in a mock arraignment Wednesday at Yorktown Town Court.

In a mock arraignment Yorktown and Lakeland students sentenced a young man Wednesday night to 25 hours of community service for having stolen an iPhone and iPod from a Yorktown High School student's locker. 

During that mock trail, students showcased to friends and family what they have learned about the various aspects of the law over the last weeks. They will soon take on real-life court cases prosecuting other teens who have been found guilty of misdemeanors or violations.

Students, members of the 2013 Yorktown Youth Court graduating class, received their certificates Wednesday. 

"Congratulations to you all," Yorktown Justice Sal Lagonia told the students. "You've put a lot of work. Nobody gave this to you. You earned it. And you should be applauded for that."

The Alliance for Safe Kids' Yorktown Youth Court program was founded in 2007. It is a voluntary alternative to Family Court and the criminal justice system. It is organized and run by teens, adjudicating misdemeanor cases involving other teens with the goal of reducing juvenile delinquency, according to officials.

Youth Court members serve in the roles of judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, jury, clerk, and bailiff. The legal and binding procedure determines a fair and restorative sentence in the form of community service hours for the youth offender.

Local officials in attendance of the graduation were Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace, councilmen Vishnu Patel and Dave Paganelli, county legislators Michael Kaplowitz and John Testa, and state assemblyman Steve Katz. Yorktown detectives Brian Shanahan and Sean Lewis, as well ASK board president Tricy Cushner and executive director Lisa Tomeny offered encouragement to the graduates.

Below is the list of graduates, members of the Class of 2013 (from both the Yorktown and Lakeland school districts):

Zachary Abbate Akshay Karve Joshua Beck Robert Kohl Nicholas Belmonte Daniel Kramer Logan Boilen Robert Kramer Sean Boyle Caileigh Lampersberger Richie Campanaro Brendan Lawlor Ryan Cegielski Andrew Levin Jack Christensen Sam Levin Kaitlyn Comerford Carlton James Mackay Tyler Cunnington Vincent Manghise John Del Priore Sara Mongno Thomas Donatelli Michael Naccarella Brandon Dumoit Keegan O'Connor Mason Dyslin Christopher Pinto Jamison Embury Frank Raguso Hunter Embury Christina Raguso Scott Epstein Gregory Rivera Timothy Forbes Gabriel Rivera Conor Frawley Robert Sam Spallone Skyler Gironda Clare Spallone Alban Hoxhaj Joey Vulaj Greg Karales Joseph V. Woska

Yorktown Youth Court is a program developed and directed by the Alliance for Safe Kids. P.O. Box 106, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598. For more information, visit www.AllianceforSafeKids.org.

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Sal Lagonia February 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM
They truly earned it. This is a very difficult and fast moving program and we should all be very proud of our new youth members. They put in a great deal of time and effort. Now we'll put them to work!
Vishnu Patel February 15, 2013 at 01:10 PM
You are testimony to ours Schools, Dist. and Community. Congratulations to all. Vishnu Patel
Ellen Boyle February 15, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Truly a wonderful program to get our youths involved and sending out a message between right and wrong. Congratulations to all. Sean Boyle's grandma

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