Township Youth Making a Difference as Peer Jurors
Each year a $1,500 scholarship opportunity is made available to graduating seniors who served as volunteer peer jurors. The Peer Jury program makes a difference by providing second chances to non-violent offenders, teaching valuable life lessons along the way.
About the Peer Jurors
Peer Jurors are high school age volunteers, students at local public and private schools. With their parents' permission and the recommendations of school advisors, our jurors complete a rigorous training program. (New Trier Township's training is a model for other communities.) At present there are about 40 jurors who serve in small groups. They have signed an oath to abide by the program standards and maintain confidentiality about all proceedings.
The juries meet at the New Trier Township office once or twice a month, depending on case load. The identities of the peer jurors are confidential as are the identities of the offenders.
Peer Jurors are asked to serve and render decisions concerning appropriate sentencing of youth referred to the program by local police departments. Students interested in participating should download a Peer Jury Information Packet (PDF) and complete the application. For more information on Peer Jury, call 847-446-8203 or email Brian Leverenz, Community Service Administrator.
- Attend New Trier Township public or private High School (New Trier, Loyola, Regina Dominican or North Shore Country Day)
- Live in New Trier Township
- Possess an interest in helping peers
- Grade Point Average (GPA) of better than 2.0 (C+)
- No misdemeanor arrest or felony arrest during last six months
- Good judgement, character and reputation
- Interest in program should be initiated by teen and have parental or guardian approval
- Recommendation letter from school advisor
- Ability to work with police, other teens and community representatives
- Willingness to respect and maintain confidentiality requirements and observe proper court decorum
- Participates in peer jury training sessions
- Attends monthly meeting of peer jury
- Questions offenders and determines appropriate sentence
- Reviews offender performance of assigned sentence
- Acts as spokesperson for the court
Peer Juror applications are received, reviewed, and approved by the Peer Jury Coordinator and recommendations are forwarded to the local police departments. Each jury applicant will be interviewed by either the Coordinator or the Community Services Administrator. A police officer will also be present at juror interviews.
- All peer jurors must have parental permission to participate.
- All peer jurors sign a contract specifying their obligations as members of the Peer Jury Program.
Peer Jury applications are taken on an on-going basis. Jurors can expect to be contacted in the spring when training for a new class of jurors will begin. Thank you for your interest.
For more information on Peer Jury, call 847-446-8203 or email Brian Leverenz, Community Service Administrator.