Mundelein Officials Plan to Implement Teen Juries
Mohr, Robin, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Robin Mohr Daily Herald Staff Writer
Teenagers in Mundelein who have had a minor scrape with the law will be able to face a jury of their peers - rather than a circuit court judge.
Three area schools, the Mundelein Police Department and Omni Youth Services of Lake County are organizing a peer jury system for first-time misdemeanor offenders.
Teens, ages 13 to 17, are currently being recruited to serve on the rotating, six-member jury.
The program is modeled after a similar one that's been in operation in Buffalo Grove for a year.
In crafting the jury, Mundelein also looked at models in Colorado Springs, Mundelein Police Chief Raymond Rose said.
"We kind of mixed and matched a little bit," he said.
Mundelein and Carmel high schools and Carl Sandburg Middle School will be the first to participate in the new program, although Rose would like to see the effort expand into other school districts.
Youth offenders who plead guilty to first-time charges will have the option to go before the peer jury and be assigned community service for their crime, Rose said. …