Kansas City, Missouri: Youth Q&A with Court Actors

Youth Dialogue with Court Professionals

The Kansas City team partnered with Kansas City’s Southeast High School in order to conduct a meaningful community engagement with youth in the city. Many of the student participants were enrolled in the school’s Restorative Justice class. Some of them had previous experiences with the justice system. The dialogue was held at Southeast High School during the lunch hour.

  • The day prior to the engagement, Southeast High School teachers provided students with educational materials about the court and a brochure entitled “Juveniles and the Law” created by the Missouri State Bar.
  • The engagement had a similar format and content as the team’s other three engagement sessions with adults. That is, there was an introductory presentation and several rounds of discussion which utilized sticky notes and iClicker technology. However, there was also an added emphasis on education and interaction with court personnel.
  • At the end of the engagement, to increase interaction between the youth and court personnel, there was time for questions and answers. Group facilitators encouraged youth participants to ask court actors anything about the municipal court, the topics of discussion, or the legal profession in general. Court personnel stood up in front of the students to directly answer their questions. Those present to answer questions included a judge, court administrator, city prosecutor, defense attorney/public defender, and other court staff and community and city leaders familiar with the courts.

Toolkit Tidbit: Kansas City Reflects on the Youth Engagement