The Neighborhood Youth Panel is a juvenile diversion program which gives first-time juvenile misdemeanor offenders the option of appearing before a panel of community volunteers rather than entering the juvenile court system. A youth offender who accepts and completes the contractual obligations offered by the panel avoids the stigma and possible effects of a juvenile record, that is, he/she is ‘diverted’ from the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) Intake and the juvenile court. If the youth offender fails to fulfill his/her obligation, the youth is referred back to DJS Intake. In addition, the panel gives the community the opportunity to be directly involved in the process of determining sanctions for youth offenders, monitoring sanction compliance and acting as positive role models to our youth. The program supports the concept of Balance and Restorative Justice.
"The NYP program has been instrumental in helping those individuals who made a wrong choice and need guidance to help them get back on track."
-- Chief Darrell Hamilton, NEPD
"This is a great alternative to placing these children, our future, in a broken system where kids are lost and become statistics."
-- Nicole Gilley, Parent
"The neighborhood Youth Panel (is) holding participants to a higher degree of accountability... this program is Justice-Reinvestment at its finest."
-- Sheriff Scott A. Adams