New Canaan Police are seeking high school-aged students to participate in their Peer Jury program, in which New Canaan and Easton students act as a jury for legal cases in the opposite town when juveniles qualifying for the program head before a judge.
"[The program begins] October 9," said Sgt. Carol Ogrinc of the New Canaan Police Department. "We're looking for kids interested in participating. New Canaan students will sit in on two to four cases in Easton and Easton students sit in on two to three here, usually."
Ogrinc described the program as being very close to a real court room where the students process evidence presented to them, talk to officers involved in the case and make the ultimate decision in the case, whether it be restitution, a letter of apology, community service or a similar outcome. The program usually hears cases for minor offenses committed by other juveniles, she said.
Below, find the full text of a release from the department:
What is the Peer Jury?
The Peer Jury a diversion program for youths who have committed a crime or violation. Youths who are first time offenders are referred to the Peer Jury instead of being referred to Juvenile Court. The New Canaan Police Department has partnered with Easton Police Department. New Canaan youths will hear cases from Easton and Easton youths will hear cases from New Canaan. The program began in 2008 and has been very successful.
Who could be a Peer Juror?
Any New Canaan Youth between 14 and 18 years of age can participate. You must attend a training class which will be conducted by a Prosecutor of the Court.
What do Peer Jurors do?
Three to five jurors will know all the facts about the case in front of them. The jurors will ask the offender questions relating to the case. After the case is heard the jurors will decide the consequences for the offender. All information pertaining to the case is confidential.
How do I sign up for the training?
Contact Sergeant Carol Ogrinc at:
203-594-3523 or firstname.lastname@example.org
School Resource Officer Jason Kim
203-594-4740 or email@example.com