The office of District Attorney Seth Williams is seeking adult volunteers to serve on Youth Aid Panels.
Philadelphia has 31 such volunteer-staffed panels, at least one in every police district. Each works with first-time juvenile offenders charged with misdemeanors or minor felonies, giving them a second chance to avoid a criminal record by allowing them to enter into a contract of atonement in lieu of appearing in court.
“This is the perfect opportunity to support your community,” Williams said. “Just a few hours a month will have a
tremendous impact on the city.”
As a part of the program, each youth is assigned a panel member to monitor their adherence and progress. If all terms of the contract – which may include community service, restitution and education – are fulfilled, their case never goes to court and the record of their arrest is expunged.
Nine out of 10 youth who enter the program successfully fulfill their contracts.
517 juveniles fulfilled Youth Aid Panel contracts last year, completing over 5,279 hours of community service.
Those interested in becoming a Youth Aid Panel volunteer are asked to call 215-686-7600, 215-686-6305 or 215-686-6310 for more information.