The railing has been taken away and a row of benches has been moved to make way for a conference table and 16 chairs.
County Judge Ken Vampola usually sits at the table with the defendant and his or her parents or guardian and the lawyers involved. Vampola says delinquent youths don’t fear authority, so they have to be personally motivated and buy into their futures.
The courtroom alterations illustrate other changes in the county system. Among them is a new truancy diversion program and efforts to provide alternatives to locking up juveniles.