Operations & Behavior

Peer Jury Operations
Each peer jury meeting begins with the hearing of offenders who are returning to the peer jury to be released after completing their “sentence” or requirements. The returning offender will be called before the peer jury and present the necessary documents to the panel. The panel may decide to ask the offender questions about their community service.  After all returning cases have been heard, new cases are called.

New Case Call

  1. The peer jury coordinator escorts the offender and his/her parent(s) into the jury room
  2. The parents are directed to sit at assigned seats in the back of the room, while the offender is directed to step before the peer jury panel
  3. The moderator ascertains the identity of the offender and some basic information
  4. The moderator asks the juvenile detective to read aloud the facts of the case
  5. The moderator then opens up the panel to ask the offender any questions about the incident
  6. When the panel is satisfied that all questions have been answered, the offender and his/her parents are dismissed to the lobby pending peer jury deliberation
  7. After deliberation, the offender and his/her parent(s) are returned to the room and the offender once again stands before the peer jury panel
  8. The moderator announces the decision of the entire jury and directs the offender to the proper paperwork that must be completed
  9. The offender is reminded of his/her responsibility to the peer jury to complete the assignment by the return date
  10. The offender and parent(s) leave the room
  11. The jury continues the process until all of the cases are heard

Release Procedure

  1. The offender and parent(s) are brought into the room, and the offender faces the panel
  2. The offender hands over the necessary documents from his/her community service site
  3. The moderator will review the documents of the offender’s work and attitude which were received from the assigned community service agency
  4. The moderator will give the panel members a chance to ask the offender any questions
  5. At the moderator’s discretion, the offender is released
  6. The offender and his/her parent(s) leave the room

Peer Jury Behavior
It is important that the offender and his/her parent(s) or guardian take the peer jury seriously. This will only happen if he/she sees that the jurors are taking the proceedings seriously. The following rules of conduct, if followed by all jurors, will ensure a dignified and serious attitude concerning the peer jury proceedings. 

  • All jurors hearing a case should be seated when the offender enters the room
  • All jurors not on the panel should be seated together in a designated area of the room
  • There should be no joking, socializing, laughing, etc. while the offender is in the room
  • In the presence of the offender, all jurors should adopt a business-like demeanor
  • Jurors should not be chewing gum while hearing a case
  • Once a case begins, no one should leave or enter the room until the offender is excused for jury deliberations
  • The moderator must keep the proceedings moving along. If this is not done, the moderator should say, “This line of questioning is not relevant. Let’s move on to something else.”
  • Deliberations should be thoughtful and careful but also expeditious. A juror should take the time he/she needs to make a good decision, but should not dawdle. 
  • Jurors should pay attention to special instructions before hearing the case and during deliberations
  • Most important, all proceedings of the peer jury must be kept in the strictest confidence. A juror must never discuss a peer jury case outside of the peer jury meeting.