FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dallas DA’s Office Holds First Junior Prosecutor Academy Graduation to Benefit DISD Students
(Dallas, TX – April 17, 2013) – The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office is proud to present its first graduation ceremony for more than a dozen students who just completed the Junior Prosecutor Academy. It’s a six week program offered at Thomas Edison Middle School in West Dallas, and the classes are offered during the tutoring hour.
The academy provides a dynamic environment for students to learn what prosecutors do in the courtroom and how it relates to law enforcement. Dallas County prosecutors teach students how to use crime scene investigation techniques, conduct field sobriety tests with intoxication simulation goggles, and how to admit evidence in a trial. Some of the classes include material from actual cases, so real crime scene photos are utilized.
“We hope to expose these students to how the justice system works. The Junior Prosecution Academy’s final class took place at the Frank Crowley Courts Building, so they could tour the courtrooms and see some trials in process. We hope to inspire these youth who are from high crime areas to become prosecutors, but more importantly to not end up on the wrong side of the law,” said District Attorney Craig Watkins.
The academy was born out of the Dallas DA’s newly created Community Prosecution Unit, which aims to be the active ambassador of our office’s community initiatives and educational programs. Assistant District Attorney Rachael Jones oversees the unit which is comprised of four additional prosecutors and one investigator. They develop action plans for neighborhood crime watch groups, educate DISD students about cyber bullying, the criminal consequences of girls dating older men, and any other problem plaguing a particular campus.
The Junior Prosecutor Academy is the unit’s crown jewel. “I am excited that Mr. Watkins appointed me to head up the unit and to develop the academy. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as seeing the spark in a child’s eyes – hoping that their future is shaped forever by seeing the positive effects of law enforcement,” said Assistant DA Rachael Jones. The spotlight will shine brightly on these students at the graduation ceremony tomorrow at noon, April 18, 2013 inside the foyer of the 11th floor of the Frank Crowley Courts Building, 133 N. Riverfront Blvd., Dallas, Texas.