Bob Berlin Swears in New Downers Grove Peer Jurors
On Thursday, October 3rd, DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin swore in 27 peer jurors at the Village of Downers Grove. The Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury Program was launched in 2018 and represents a continuation of a similarly named program which was run by Downers Grove Township for 17 years, ending in 2017.
The Peer Juries convened through the program are alternatives to court for first-time, non-violent juvenile offenders who have committed offenses such as theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, tobacco possession, or underage drinking. When handling such offenses, local Police Departments have the choice to assign cases to these juries as an alternative to juvenile criminal courts or local adjudication hearings. The cooperative effort of this program includes Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Hinsalde, Oak Brook, Willowbrook, and Downers Grove.
The jury is composed of high-school aged student volunteers who submit an application with references and are competitively selected. The student jurors begin their term as juniors and commit to serve for two years until the conclusion of their senior year. More information on the program, and how your child could apply to be a juror, can be found here.
Bob is proud to support this initiative and give young people a greater stake in their community. Bob strongly supports the program’s philosophy of balanced and restorative justice. This initiative keeps juveniles out of the criminal justice system, while helping them realize their mistakes and take accountability for them.