Division Contact Info
Educational Services Division
Student Support Services: Law Related Education and Prevention Programs
MissionLaw related education and prevention programs provide students from all districts and schools throughout Santa Cruz County with an opportunity to engage in law and justice education, community dynamics, leadership, critical thinking, public speaking skills and positive youth development. We strive to educate youth throughout the county about juvenile justice and law, while also reducing the incidence of juvenile delinquency.
VisionTo develop rights and responsibilities for youth as engaged citizens
GoalTo increase law related education projects through continual partnerships, application for grants and other resources, and establishment of creative funding avenues.
SCCOE's Superintendent's Vision and GoalsThe law related education programs are in alignment with the SCCOE's Superintendent's Vision and Goals. They promote "innovative collaboration with districts, non-governmental organizations and public agencies to create safe and healthy school environments" (Goal 3.5). Mock Trial in particular is a strong platform for encouraging "arts activities, performances and recognition of Santa Cruz County's youth" (Goal 3.8). Together, the law related education programs provide increased education opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds, while simultaneously increasing the safety, responsibility, and citizenship of our students, communities, and schools.
Real DUI Court in SchoolsSafety Precautions for Teen Drivers.
This Santa Cruz Sentinel article about teens and drinking mentions the Real DUI Court in Schools program. (Published February 4, 2013.)
Read about a Real DUI Court in Schools assembly at Scotts Valley High. It is reported that last year four million 16-20 year olds drove while under the influence of either alcohol or illicit drugs in the U.S. This makes motor vehicle crashes the leading cause of death among young people in that age group. Altering the attitudes of teen drivers is fundamental to changing their behavior. To achieve this objective, a robust, multifaceted approach to solving the problem of underage drinking and driving is required.
California judicial officers currently participating in the Real DUI Court in Schools program believe this to be a successful model for DUI prevention.
The premise of the Real DUI Court in Schools program is to conduct live driving under the influence (DUI) sentencing hearings in high schools to provide students with the opportunity to see up close the consequences of a DUI offense to individual drivers, crash victims, and local communities.
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education in partnership with Santa Cruz County Superior Courts, Public Defenders Office, and District Attorneys Office bring Real DUI Court in Schools assemblies to interested Santa Cruz County High Schools. The Real DUI Court in Schools assembly provides high school students with: an opportunity to witness the consequences of a real adult DUI sentencing hearing, listen to testimonial speakers, have a question/ answer period about the hearing process with speakers and judicial staff, and learn about underage drinking.
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Law-related and Prevention Education programs partners with the Santa Cruz Superior Court, Public Defender’s Office, and District Attorney’s Office to bring Real DUI Court in Schools assemblies to local high schools. In 2007, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) funded the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, and other select agencies, to pilot the Real DUI Court in Schools program. Although direct funding ended in June 2009, the collaborative finds the program highly effective and of great importance and therefore continues to offer assemblies to high schools throughout the county.
Real DUI Court in Schools brings real cases before students to emphasize the short- and long- term consequences and realities of driving under the influence. The assembly provides high school students with an opportunity to: witness the consequences of an adult DUI sentencing hearing, hear from a testimonial speaker, dialogue with judicial staff, defendants, and speakers, and view the WASTED: The Truth About Underage Drinking in Santa Cruz County video which discusses the public health issues of binge drinking in our community. Furthermore, the County Office of Education partners with County Drug and Alcohol, Friday Night Live Program, to provide a resource table and lunch time prevention activities for students after the presentation. One activity asks student to take a pledge to not drink and drive.