St. Clair County Associate Judge Laninya Cason has completed a training program offered by the Illinois Judges Association (IJA) called "7 Reasons to Leave the Party," and is available to present the free program to schools.

The 50-minute presentation provides 7th through 12th grade students with information about the consequences of poor choices.

According to the IJA, the talk, which is peppered with true stories of teens who made wrong decisions, is designed to drive home this message: Encourage your friends to avoid wrong behavior, and you can prevent them from having a criminal record or losing their driver's license. You may even save a life.

To date, 94 judges statewide have voluntarily completed the training, and the program has been presented to more than 40,000 teens throughout the state.

"By the time a teen hits the courthouse, it is too late," said program developer, Judge Mark Drummond of the 8th Judicial Circuit in Quincy.

"This is our attempt as judges at preventative law."

For further information or to schedule a presentation, contact the Illinois Judges Association at (312) 431-1283 or email the association at

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