MaineStay Youth & Family Services
Peer Jury is a positive approach to juvenile crime that often has a greater impact on the juvenile offender than court. This restorative justice program allows first-time offenders to bypass the court system and instead be sentenced by a jury of their peers. Offenders often receive meaningful community service assignments or additional recommendations such as counseling or various forms of restitution. MaineStay matches juveniles with local community service sites and oversees their effort to ensure their work progresses smoothly. Parents are also invited to attend a parenting class or parent support group that offers practical tips and advice about how to successfully parent adolescents.
The goal of this program is to reduce juvenile delinquency and repeat offenses later in life and to improve decision-making skills. It offers a valuable contribution to local organizations and non-profits that benefit from the work the youth are able to perform. It is not uncommon for students to choose to continue at a site beyond their required hours because of the benefit they have received in being a valuable part of something greater than themselves.