Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neighbors Hand Down Some Sanctions; Juvenile Cases That Qualify Are Heard by Panel of Police, Clergy, Retirees

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neighbors Hand Down Some Sanctions; Juvenile Cases That Qualify Are Heard by Panel of Police, Clergy, Retirees

Article excerpt

Byline: Tessa Duvall

Quinton was indifferent. He sat at a table, facing a panel of adults, including a pastor, grandparents and retirees. His left leg bounced up and down with nervous energy, and he repeatedly rubbed his chin.

"It's just too much work," said the 17-year-old high school student.

Quinton, which is not his real name, had stolen from a big-box store and landed himself in the neighborhood accountability board diversion program instead of being arrested. He was among the first juveniles in the county to receive a second civil citation, and therefore a second shot at a clean record.

Now, he said, he's having second thoughts. He admitted he'd test positive for marijuana. He didn't want the free bus passes to get him to his community service hours. He just didn't want to do it.

"I think our hands are tied," Stacy Roberts, program director of Teen and Truancy Court, said to the board once Quinton and his mom stepped out of the room.

"We can't want it more than he does," one of the volunteers, a retired woman, offered.

They gave Quinton one more chance to participate and keep his record clean, and again he declined. His mom didn't object. The case was returned to the State Attorney's Office for adjudication.

That may have been the first time the board had seen someone quit, one of the volunteers remarked.

Neighborhood accountability boards are one of the primary ways civil citation cases are handled in Duval County. If a juvenile case is given a citation and meets two of the three criteria - they live in, go to school in or committed their offense in an eligible ZIP code - then their case is sent through a neighborhood accountability board. The boards also handle a handful of school-based referrals.

The boards, located at the Beaches, Ribault area, Westside and Arlington, are made up of neighborhood figures, including a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office lieutenant, religious leaders and many retired volunteers.

Like Teen Court, the neighborhood accountability board process also takes about 90 days to complete - though it may be longer if a juvenile needs substance-abuse treatment - and includes similar sanctions, like book reports, essays, community service, apology letters and counseling if needed. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.