The Western Springs Juvenile Peer Jury has helped guide area youth since October 1997 by providing youthful offenders with a second chance. The Police Department juvenile officers and coordinators run the program, and teens serve as peer jurors, hearing cases referred by the Police Department. Each jury is comprised of eight teenagers. The jurors alternate and a steady pool is available so jurors do not hear cases involving friends or acquaintances. Cases before the jury range from curfew to misdemeanors and even felonies.
The Peer Jury is a second chance for first time offenders, where they may avoid juvenile court and hopefully turn a negative situation into a positive one. Jurors and offenders have benefited from the program. Jurors feel good about contributing to the community and see firsthand how poor decisions lead to serious consequences. This is an excellent opportunity for youth to get involved in the community.
This program is intended to be an effective way to make young offenders accountable for their actions by agreeing to comply with a sentence imposed by a jury of their peers. The coordinators of the program are adults from Western Springs, and they are to be commended for the giving of their time to this program. The young offenders perform community service as part of their sentence.
Join the Peer Jury
The Peer Jury program is currently looking for young people between the ages of 13 and 18 to become peer jurors. They must live in Western Springs, go to school here, or attend either LT or Nazareth. Applications can be picked up at the Police Department.
The program is also seeking community service sites that are nonprofit organizations.
For more information, contact Sgt. John Piest at (708) 246-1800 ext.156.