Juvenile Court Alternatives
Juvenile Pre-Trial Intervention
Juvenile Pre-Trial Intervention is a diversionary program for some first-time, non-violent offenders who are under the age of 17. Defendants are referred to the program by a Family Court prosecutor and must undergo an evaluation to determine whether the juvenile is eligible and what the requirements for successful completion will be.
The following are common requirements of the program:
- community service
- writing essays
- drug counseling/testing
- paying restitution to victims
- touring a prison or county jail
- educational classes
The total cost of the program is $200, which includes a $100 assessment fee paid at the time of intake with a money order or cashier’s check. You may pay by credit card at our office in the Beaufort Courthouse.
Participants who are rejected from the program or who fail to satisfy all requirements of the program will be returned to Family Court for prosecution.
For more information, contact our PTI staff at 843-779-8477.
In 1998, the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office began a Juvenile Arbitration Program that now is available in all five counties. Juvenile arbitration is a juvenile diversion program designed to divert first time, non-violent/non-status offenders out of the Family Court system and into an informal arbitration setting that is operated by trained community volunteers.
The trained volunteers hold a hearing with the offender and his/her family as well as the victim and arresting police officer. At the hearing, the volunteer works to establish the facts of the case and to develop an appropriate punishment that is acceptable and in the best interest of all parties, including the community as a whole. Potential sanctions can include paying restitution, writing letters of apology, performing community service and other requirements the arbitrator deems appropriate.
If the juvenile is successful, they may apply to have the charges expunged. If they are unsuccessful, the case will be forwarded to Family Court for prosecution.
We are thankful for approximately two dozen volunteers who make this program the success it is. Currently, fewer than 10 percent of the program’s participants re-offend.
For more information
For more information about this program or to volunteer, please contact Leonard Risher at 843-779-8689.