The goals of the project have been met
and the project is completed. All activities were completed.
There were multiple meetings with the Community Board that
was established to promulgate the CHINS brochure. The Board
consisted of court personnel, school personnel from the City
of Newton, juvenile probation officers, members of the City
of Newton Police Department and community service agencies.
Numerous drafts were given to members of the board for review
and commentary. Once the final draft of the brochure was agreed
upon, a graphic arts designer was hired to layout the brochure
in a way that would appeal to the target audience. A Russian
interpreter was hired to translate the brochure into Russian.
The Community Board then turned its attention
to drafting the wallet card that is to be distributed to all
the students entering the Newton public high schools as freshmen.
Once the card was completed it was also given to the graphic
arts designer to match to the brochure. The Russian translation,
once completed, was given to the graphic arts designer to
layout in the same manner as the English version. Many discussions
took place between the interpreter and the designer to get
the layout just right. A printer was then hired to produce
the wallet card and copies of the brochure in English and
There were some delays in the project
insofar as actually meeting with the Board to discuss various
drafts. There was also some unavoidable delays due to the
relocation of the District Court of Newton to Cambridge. These
delays did not negatively impact the project.
The District Court of Newton, in conjunction
with the Newton Police and the Newton Public Schools, distributed
a letter preceding a presentation to eighth graders by the
Improbable Players. The letter informed the parents of the
students what the presentation would be and why it was being
presented. The letter also informed parents that the brochure
was in progress and would be distributed before the students
started ninth grade.
The Newton District Court has also, since
January 2001, actively sought members of the Newton community
to become members of The District Court of Newton Community
Advisory Board. Ads were placed in local newspapers, via public
service articles, and an ad was placed on New TV, the Newton
cable channel. Interviews were scheduled with all the candidates
and invitations to join the board were given after the decision
regarding the interviews. The board will also consist of members
of the Newton Police, the Mayor, school personnel, the local
bar, etc. Although the idea for the board was launched before
it was definite that the court would be moving to Cambridge,
its formation was timely. Through interactions with the board,
the court will be able to stay involved with the Newton Community
and keep a finger on the pulse of the community. The Board
will meet approximately every 6 to 8 weeks. The first meeting
is scheduled for September 20, 2001.
Feedback from school personnel regarding
the students' reactions to the presentation by the Improbable
Players was favorable. Members of the school personnel were
thrilled to have the presentation because their budgetary
restraints would not allow it and it was their feeling that
the eighth graders were kind of ignored as far as special
services and drug/alcohol awareness. The Presiding Justice,
a Newton parent, has received favorable feedback from parents
and school administrators that she has had interactions with.
The juvenile probation officer has reported that the brochure
has been favorably received by parents who come to her to
seek CHINS petitions.
The only thing that would be done differently
given the opportunity would be to distribute a calendar/timeline
to all the parties involved to keep on track. The brochure
is being distributed in the courthouse and at the education
center where the juvenile probation officer is. The Newton
District Court Advisory Board will look to publish other informational
brochures on subjects that seem to call for clarification
to the public.