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, offered in partnership with the Des Plaines and Park Ridge Police Departments, allows first-time, non-violent 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.
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 volunteer 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.
We are looking for students ages 13-17 who would like to volunteer as peer jurors. Student volunteers find it rewarding to be a part of the process as a juror and learn about the juvenile justice process. This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer service hours or receive recommendation letters. Sessions are held the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm for between 1-2 hours in the Council Chambers of Park Ridge City Hall. Next session and orientation is November 4. To apply, please complete the online application below.
Peer Jury Volunteer Application (e-signable form)
For more information please contact Branka Mackic at 847-297-2510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.