ERIC Number: ED448261
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
An Investigation of Philadelphia's Youth Aid Panel: A Community-Based Diversion Program for First-Time Youthful Offenders.
Chernoff, Nina W.; Watson, Bernadine H.
This report describes the Philadelphia Youth Aid Panel (YAP), an alternative approach to juvenile justice. YAPs, also known as Community Accountability Panels, evolved from 1950s legislation empowering panels of community members to handle low-level juvenile offenders. The Youth Aid Panel allows low-level juvenile offenders who have admitted their guilt to avoid facing the criminal justice system. YAP operates through the District Attorney's Office and is open to youthful first-time, nonviolent offenders. Juveniles and their parents go before a panel of community members, and sentences are passed that includes: restitution, serious self-reflection, and community service. Youths are assigned to monitors who maintain contact throughout the process. Section 1 describes YAP and its operations, based on information from interviews and focus groups with youths, panelists, parents, police officers, probation officers, and YAP staff. Section 2 analyzes data on 300 1994 YAP youth tracked through the juvenile and adult court record systems. Another 300 similar youth, arrested for low-level crimes in 1994 but not part of YAP, were also tracked. This provided a context for examining YAP recidivism rates. Overall, most YAP participants were male, black youth age 14-17 years who committed weapons violations. Over 70 percent of participants completed the program. Within 3 years, 29.9 percent of YAP completers were rearrested, compared with 44.4 percent of non-YAP youth. Section 3 discusses promising aspects of YAP, offering recommendations on strengthening operations and future research. (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Community Control, Community Programs, Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Justice, Recidivism, Youth Programs
Public/Private Ventures, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 900, Philadelphia, PA 19103. Tel: 215-557-4400; Fax: 215-557-4469; Web site: http://www.ppv.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA.; Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc., Greensboro, NC.
Authoring Institution: Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, PA.