The mission of this Office is to provide delinquent youths with programs of supervision, care, and rehabilitation utilizing a balanced approach of protection of the community, accountability for offenses committed, and development of competencies in order to become responsible and productive members of the community. All misdemeanor and felony charges filed against minors, age 10 to 17, are processed by this department.
This Department of the Court of Common Pleas has developed and now provides the following services to the public and the youths of Carbon County:
Two Juvenile Court Officers visit the Senior and Junior High Schools of Lehighton, Palmerton, Weatherly, Panther Valley, and Jim Thorpe as well as the Carbon County Vocational Technical School on a daily rotating basis to deal with juveniles who are under the Juvenile Court Office’s supervision. Meeting weekly helps the juveniles deal with their problems and ensures that the juveniles are in compliance with the conditions of their supervision. As a member of the schools’ Student Assistance Programs, information is exchanged relative to probation clients and results in the development of appropriate treatment plans for juveniles.
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM
This program enhances the Balanced Approach of Restorative Justice by assisting area non-profit organizations, such as fire companies, churches, local schools, townships, boroughs, and civic organizations with numerous projects that benefit the community. In 2013, 115 supervised juveniles completed 3335 hours of community service work. An additional 38 juveniles completed 551 hours in lieu of payments of fines on summary convictions at the District Justice level. Lastly, 18 juveniles participated in the Restitution Program, completing 548 hours of community service work. A total of $4248.77 was earned and paid directly to the victims of juvenile crime.
The intake procedure expedites the intake process on all referrals received by having one officer review all case material, conduct an intake interview with the juvenile and his/her guardian, recommend a disposition for each case, and then assigns the case to the appropriate Juvenile Court Officer for final disposition.
A Victims/Witness brochure provides information on how to participate in all phases of the Juvenile Court process. A Victim Claim Form allows each victim an opportunity to submit a restitution claim against the juvenile and provides an avenue to express his or her expectations regarding disposition of the case. A grant was received from the Federal government in which the Victim's Resource Center provides additional services to victims of juvenile crime.
STUDENT VISITATION PROGRAM
In an effort to expose students to the Judicial System, the Juvenile Court Office extends to all area schools an opportunity to witness actual court proceedings. This program allows students to observe criminal court proceedings, to ask questions of both Court personnel and the Judges, and to witness real life by enlightening them on the consequences of their behavior. Hopefully, this experience will help serve as a deterrent to high-risk behaviors such as crime and drug and alcohol abuse.