PASCO, WA — Students across Southeast Washington will attend the 14th annual Tri-Cities Youth and Justice Forum on Friday, November 3 at Columbia Basin College. This full-day forum teaches middle and high school students about the many professions and resources that make up our justice system, with the principal goal of creating opportunities for racial and ethnic diversity in the justice system to match the people it serves.

This year’s theme is “How Science and Technology Can Help Us In Our Quest for Justice.” Thanks to a greatly generous $10,000 donation from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), the 2017 Forum features a strong emphasis on the integration of technology in the field. The event invites students in grades 8-12 to explore how technology can be used in conjunction with regular law practices to advance justice. Students in attendance will have the opportunity to learn more about using technology, such as social media and apps, to solve crimes, as well as participate in a drone demonstration. Students will also meet with professionals in every area of the justice system, including lawyers, judges, and law enforcement officers.

ESD 123 Prevention Services Director, Dana Camarena, looks forward to co-hosting this event each year and is especially grateful for the contribution by PNNL to strengthen the Forum.

“The annual Youth and Justice Forum is a valuable event for our department in many ways,” says Camarena, “especially because the students who attend gain such a deeper understanding of our justice system. It’s also a great opportunity to inspire youth to pursue a future career in the justice system.”

The forum will be held in the Byron Gjerde Multipurpose Facility (Building H) at CBC, and the event is free for all 8-12th grade students (schools must pre-register). For more information, contact Mireya Onofre, Prevention Services Assistant, at


The Tri-Cities Youth and Justice Forum is sponsored by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Washington State Minority & Justice Commission, Educational Service District 123, Columbia Basin Community College, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and AACCES, with more sponsors to be announced.