Giving Our Youth a Second Chance
How the Process Works
- The Referral – The police department offers the young offender the opportunity to go before a group of trained panelists instead of court.
- The Panel Session – The panel meets with the family and the youth together to discuss the incident and to learn about the youth as an individual, focusing on the aspect of providing a second chance. The session is a voluntary and confidential process.
- The Resolution Contract – The panel does not decide guilt or innocence. The panel develops a program of community service, educational activities, or other forms of giving back to the community. Restitution (if needed) is handled by the local police department, not the panel. Each resolution is customized to the offense and abilities of the individual. The youth contracts with the panel to complete the resolution.
- Completion – When the resolution is completed, the panel and the youth meet again to discuss his/her experience and the panel will recommend that no criminal record be kept about the offense. If for any reason the youth fails to complete the resolution or commits another offense, the case is returned to the police department.
- The juvenile and his/her parents do not ever go through the justice system
- The offender and the parents are not usually fined.
- The person has a chance to directly work off his/her offence through some positive community action.
- The juvenile and his/her parents witness the care and concern of their community.
- Victims, parents, and police do not waste valuable time and money waiting in or outside of a courtroom, sometimes never to be called upon for their input
- The juvenile and parents have an opportunity to access additional resources within their community.
- The police have another tool to deal with minor first-time offenses
- Community panel member are educated by the cases they hear; problems of local youth become clearer. Panels give residents a way to become more involved in their communities.
- Hopefully, the panels will provide information and input into decisions of their community which involve all young people, not those in trouble.
- Youth Aid Panels are customized to meet the needs of the community.
Become a Youth Aid Panelist in Your Community
Click here to fill out our online application!
Reshma Kothari, Youth Aid Panel Coordinator
The Youth Aid Panel Program Is a Joint Effort
- Delaware County Juvenile Probation Departments
- Delaware County District Attorney Offices
- Delaware County Board of Judges
- District Courts
- Participating police departments
- Center for Resolutions- the administering organization
- Over 250 volunteer panelists and community service organizations
Youth Education Programs
Problem Solving and Decision Making Workshop
This is a one-time workshop that educates participants on types of problems, ways to confront and solve problems, and decision-making skills.
Sexting and Internet Safety Class
This is a program ran by the D.A.’s office. In order to take the class, the youth must have related charges and must register by contacting Reshma Kothari at 610.566.7710.
Teen Intervene (Drug and Alcohol Class)
Teen Intervene is a free, confidential, evidence-based intervention program for teenagers, ages 12-19, experiencing mild to moderate problems associated with alcohol and other drug use. Teen Intervene integrates the stages of change model and motivational interviewing into the program. This program is completed in three 60-75 minutes sessions including a final family meeting during the last session. The ultimate goal of Teen Intervene is to increase participants motivation to make positive health lifestyle changes. For more information about this program, visit their website here.