Peer Jury

The department attempts to use alternatives to divert youths away from the court system by utilizing social services and other methods. One of the alternatives is the Peer Jury program. 

Youths suspected of committing non-violent offenses may be sent to Peer Jury at the recommendation of a youth officer, and the consent of the juvenile's parents. 

The youth will appear before a "jury" of their peers, which is made up of youths ranging from 14 to 18 years of age. Also present are youth officers and an adult moderator, who supervise the hearing. Based upon the attitude and severity of the crime, the youth can be assigns tasks such as community service, essay writing, and more to be completed by a set time. If the tasks are not completed, or completed unsatisfactorily, the youth can subsequently be issued harsher punishments, up to being formally charged. 

Hearings are not to determine guilt or innocence, but do offer an alternative to entering the court system.