EXCHANGE: Peer jury program offers second chance
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The Stephenson County Peer Jury Program resumes Oct. 8 to help first-time juvenile offenders understand the consequences of their crimes and avoid the pitfalls of the criminal justice system.
The program, established by the State’s Attorney’s office in 2007, allows Freeport-area youth who are 13 to 17 years old to serve as a peer jury in criminal cases involving first-time juvenile offenders. Up to 20 volunteers serve on the peer jury, which meets once a month to consider circumstances of defendants’ crimes and deliver punishments that best suit the offender in question.