The 7th District Juvenile Court has operated an excellent, successful community work service program in the Castle Valley area for a number of years.
As part of the program, juvenile criminal offenders have contributed numerous hours of community service working at city parks, county fairgrounds and community gardens as well as assisting in other projects in the local area.
The judge allows the youth participating in the program to substitute work hours in lieu of paying the fines and/or victim restitution amounts imposed in cases processed through the juvenile justice system.
Last summer, the juvenile court program embarked on a new community service project, indicated 7th Judicial District executive Tim Simmons.
In conversations with Carbon Commissioner Tom Matthews, the juvenile court decided that small out-of-the-way cemeteries needing cleaning and maintenance.
For example, the facilities at Castle Gate, Spring Glen, Carbonville and Haycock Lane along with the Central Cemetery had become overgrown with weeds and cluttered with unsightly debris, pointed out the 7th Judicial District executive.
Work crews under the direction of deputy probation officer supervisor Carey Seals and deputy probation officer Janey Campbell started the task of putting the cemeteries back in good condition, explained Simmons.
Commissioner Matthews supported the project by providing the necessary equipment to clear the weeds, brush and debris from the cemetery grounds.
The juvenile court's community work service project has become important to the members of families with loved ones interred in the cemeteries.
"What we have found is that the task of caring for these cemeteries had fallen to the families, many of whom have moved away or have gotten up in years to where they couldn't care for the cemeteries as they once had," noted Simmons. "I can't tell you how many people have contacted us to express their gratitude for the cleaning of these cemeteries."
"It's interesting to observe the serious manner in which the youth approach this work. They realize that these are sacred places deserving reverence and respect. I can think of no project that is more important than this. It gives our kids a linkage to the past, our history, and a respect and reverence for the final resting places of those who contributed so much to us and Carbon County," observed the 7th District Court executive.
"Through our partnership with Carbon County, it is our intent to continue to see these special places are kept clean and maintained in a manner in which they are most deserving," concluded Simmons.