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Town of Clarkstown

Scholastic Program

Program for Grammar and High School Students Conducted by Judge Howard Gerber.

Judge Gerber is continuing a program that the Clarkstown Justice Court has been conducting for several years concerning the criminal justice system for social studies classes, students, and scouts who are considering a legal career, or studying the Court system, the Bill of Rights and Constitution or law generally. For grammar school students, Judge Gerber follows the lesson plan for the Constitution and Bill of Rights material taught in most area schools.

The program, depending on the time of day you arrive, consists of the following:

  1. The students are assembled in the courtroom prior to the commencement of the proceedings and are addressed by the Judge, an Assistant District Attorney, and an Assistant Public Defender (as available) as to their roles in the legal profession. Courtroom procedures, legal defenses, arraignment procedures, etc. are explained to the students. The Constitution and Bill of Rights and their applicability in Criminal Law is discussed in detail. Negligence law is discussed generally, as well as duties and rights people owe to each other in society.
  2. The students then watch the courtroom proceedings, including the arraignment of prisoners in custody, before the bench.
  3. On occasion (time permitting), prior to the students/scouts leaving to return to school, any questions concerning what they have observed during the courtroom proceedings will be answered by Judge.
  4. There is adequate seating for up to 50 students/scouts. We place many of them in the jurors box so that they can have a first-hand view of the proceedings.

Many classes, girl scout and boy scout groups and other groups of students, have found the program to be beneficial and informative. We find that the program is of interest to students of the fourth grade level and above, and we gear the program to the ages of the students. It is an excellent adjunct to the D.A.R.E. Program. Further, the Program is consistent with the Bill of Rights and the material used in the 5th grade.

The classes assemble at the Court House at 20 Maple Avenue in New City, times may be arranged by mutual convenience.

If you would like to arrange for a class to visit our Court, please contact Candyce Draper at (845) 639-5973 in order to arrange for same. The times given above are somewhat flexible.