Local Legal News 
Young Adult Court: Ben Gray Offers Words of Encouragement 9/18/14  09/17/14 11:06:30 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

– Photo by Lorraine Boyd
Ben Gray Offers Words of Encouragement
One of the lesser known of the special courts of Douglas County is one that provides a sentencing alternative for youthful offenders who are charged with a felony: Young Adult Court. The Hon. W. Mark Ashford presides over the program staffed by Nebraska State Probation Officer/Young Adult Court Coordinator Bob Blanchard, Probation Officer Nick Lurz, Douglas County Attorney Katie Benson and the Douglas County Corrections Re-entry Assistance Program staff.
On Monday, Omaha City Councilman Ben Gray addressed the packed courtroom of Judge Ashford as two participants “graduated” and many others had their felonies reduced to misdemeanors and were placed on probation, the final step in the program. He emphasized the importance of taking control of their own lives, the one thing they could change, especially with the help this program offers.
Two young men, Anthony and John, had successfully completed all three phases of the rigorous program and were released from probation. From felony drug possession to assault charges, they turned their lives around and are well on their way to being contributing members of society.
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