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OJJDP Helps U.K. Launch Europe's First Peer Panel skip navigation
September/October 2007
In This Issue

EUDL Conference

Acting Surgeon General Addresses Conference

DOJ Announces $17 Million in EUDL Awards

NBA Star Addresses Conference
First Lady's HAY Conference
U.K. Launches Peer Panel
OJJDP Administrator Hosts Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
SRAD Conference
Tribal Youth
Will Power to Youth
New Publications
Coordinating Council
Advisory Committee
OJJDP Staff News
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U.K. Solicitor General Vera Baird listens to the launch proceedings.
U.K. Solicitor General Vera Baird listens to the launch proceedings.
OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores participated at the National Centre for Restorative Justice launching of Europe's first peer panel, which is modeled on OJJDP's youth court program in the United States.

One hundred eighty guests including U.K. Solicitor General Vera Baird and U.S. governmental officials attended the launch at Hutton Police Headquarters in Preston, Lancashire. One of the main reasons for the event was to host the graduation ceremony for the first 12 fully trained youth peer panelists.

The first peer panel graduating class with OJJDP Federal Program Manager Scott Peterson.
The first peer panel graduating class with OJJDP program manager Scott Peterson.
Like youth courts, peer panels are based on the theory that young people are affected by peer pressure and this pressure can be changed from a negative effect to a positive one. As with youth courts, peer panels will hold juvenile offenders accountable for their actions, educate youth about the judicial and legal systems, empower youth to be active in their communities, and encourage the change toward positive behavior.

First Lady Laura Bush listens to the opening statement at youth court in Colonie, NY.
First Lady Laura Bush listens to the opening statement at youth court in Colonie, NY.


The international growth of the youth court effort mirrors the focus on prevention and intervention by the current Administration. Recently, as part of First Lady Laura Bush's Helping America's Youth initiative, she visited the Colonie (NY) Youth Court. The OJJDP-funded Colonie program is one of more than 1,255 youth courts nationwide in which youth who have committed minor offenses are judged by their peers as an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system.

In his address to the participants at the U.K. launch, J. Robert Flores said, "Peer panels can help youth to understand the real impact of their actions on other people and to take responsibility for changing their behavior. Being judged by other youth can have a positive and lasting effect."

For more information on the peer panel program, visit www.ncrj.org.uk/RJ/home.html. To learn more about youth courts, visit the National Association of Youth Courts at www.youthcourt.net.





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