The Berks County Juvenile Probation Office is seeking volunteers for the Community Youth Aid Panel Program.
The Community Youth Aid Panel Program is an innovative diversionary program designed to keep juveniles from becoming more deeply involved in the juvenile justice system. The program is a collaboration of the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office, local Police Departments and community members. The panels are comprised of community volunteers who provide a community-based alternative to traditional case processing. This process allows volunteers to hold juveniles accountable for crimes committed in their own communities and allows victim participation and reparation in a timely manner. There are currently 12 panels throughout Berks County, about 80 volunteers who sit on these panels and 34 participating police departments.
From the program’s existence in 2000, the Community Youth Aid Panel Program has received over 5,100 referrals. In 2019, the Berks County Community Youth Aid Panel Program received 293 referrals from participating police departments, up from 262 in 2018. Generally 90% of youth who participate in the Community Youth Aid Panel Program do successfully complete the program. Of those who successfully complete, approximately 95% have no further contact with the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office.
If you think juvenile crime is a problem, be part of the solution! If you are interested in getting involved with the youth in your community and becoming a part of this innovative diversionary program, contact the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office at (610) 478-3200. Applicants must be 18 years of age. Applications can also be submitted electronically on the Juvenile Probation page of the County of Berks website at www.co.berks.pa.us/jpo.
For additional information about the Community Youth Aid Panel Program, please contact Stephanie Cambria at (610) 478-3200 x6499 or by email at [email protected]