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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76874 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Jury - A Report
Corporate Author: Duluth Human Services Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 67
Sponsoring Agency: Duluth Human Services Division
Duluth, MN 55802
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report details the operations of the youth jury, a Duluth, Minn., program which selects students from area high schools to sentence first offender juveniles charged with one or more of several offenses.
Abstract: Cases that are 'strong' enough to be petitioned into Juvenile Court involving vandalism, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, possession of marijuana and alcohol, consumption of alcohol, or game violations (hunting and fishing, illegal use of firearms within city limits) are decided. The youth council, a group of youths between 14 and 20 who advise the mayor and city council on juvenile matters, suggested the concept of the youth jury in 1977. A pilot program was conducted in April 1978, followed by several successful jury sessions during the subsequent school year. Any high school junior or senior may apply; jurors are randomly selected after an attempt is made to equally represent all high schools and both sexes. Each jury group has 14 members who meet 1 day a week for 4 hours for 3 weeks and hear a maximum of 6 cases weekly. Because the youth jury functions as a diversion program under the juvenile court, all defendants must participate voluntarily and plead guilty. A college student intern under a probation officer's supervision is responsible for recordkeeping, restitution payments, assigning community work hours, and any counseling. The established routine for a jury session is outlined. The probation department supplies hearing officers who are rotated regularly, and defendants may withdraw their cases at any time during the process. Based on questionnaires completed by jurors in 1980 and other research, summary statistics are presented on jurors' attitudes and dispositions according to sex and age. The appendixes contain the bylaws of the youth council, its meeting minutes which describe the pilot jury project's development, and guidelines for the pilot project. Jurors' application forms, notices sent to jurors, and the agreement which must be signed by the defendant are included.
Index Term(s): Juries; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile diversion programs; Minnesota; Peer assessment
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