Youth Aid Panel
The Bristol Borough Youth Aid Panel gives first-time juvenile offenders a second chance. When a juvenile commits a criminal offense, the arresting police officer has two options: The juvenile offender can be formally charged and referred to court, or the juvenile can be referred to the police department's Youth Aid Panel. For some juveniles, Youth Aid is a better option. To be eligible for acceptance into a Youth Aid Panel, the juvenile must not dispute his/her involvement in the offense. The arresting police department and the juvenile offender's parents must also agree that Youth Aid is the best choice.
The Youth Aid Panel is comprised of community volunteers who are trained to hear cases involving first-time juvenile offenders. A Police Liaison Officer is also assigned to assist the Youth Aid Panel. The panel's job is to interview the juvenile and the parent(s) to determine an appropriate course of action that will benefit the victim, community, and juvenile. The panel will assign obligations, just as the courts would. Some of the most common obligations are: Community service, a letter of apology, drug and alcohol classes, and a writing assignment