When a juvenile commits a criminal offense, the arresting police officer has two options: The juvenile offender can be formally charged and referred to court, or the juvenile can be referred to the police department’s Youth Aid Panel.
For some juveniles, Youth Aid Panel is a better option. To be eligible for acceptance into a Youth Aid Panel, the juvenile must not dispute his/her involvement in the offense. The arresting police department and the juvenile offender's parents must also agree that Youth Aid is the best choice.
The Youth Aid Panel is comprised of community volunteers who are trained to hear cases involving first time juvenile offenders. The panel will hear each case individually with both juvenile and parent together. The panel’s job is to interview the juvenile to determine an appropriate course of action that will benefit the victim, community, and juvenile. The panel will assign obligations such as community service, letter of apology, drug and alcohol classes, and/or a writing assignment.
The juvenile is given a time period to complete his/her obligations. As long as the obligations are completed on time & no further contact with police, the juvenile will be successfully released from the program. No criminal record will be created for the juvenile and juvenile’s name will be expunged from all documents pertaining to the arrest.
The parent will receive a letter in the mail asking for consent for their child to participate in the program. The juvenile will receive a date and time to meet with the panel. The juvenile does not need an attorney for participation in the panel.
If you would like to volunteer to be on the Youth Aid Panel please contact Officer Robert Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.