Montgomery County’s Youth Aid Panel (YAP) is a restorative justice program offered by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office that provides troubled youths who have been charged with a nonviolent crime the opportunity to help the community and maintain a clean criminal record. YAP consists of community volunteers who meet with the juvenile and their family, discuss their involvement in the summary or misdemeanor offense, and then create a personalized plan, tailored to each case. Depending on the circumstances, the juvenile may be required to do community service, pay restitution, apologize to the victim, participate in charitable, sporting or recreational events, or other requirements. Once the juvenile has completed the requirements, he or she will have a clean record and will have made our community a better place. Each year, over 700 juveniles participate in YAP. YAP benefits the juvenile as he or she comes out of the program a better person, the victim in that they have input as to the requirements that the juvenile will have to complete, and the rest of the community by saving tax dollars that would otherwise go to court proceedings.
If you would like to become a YAP volunteer, contact Program Coordinator Tom Haney (610-277-8909) or go to www.montcomediation.com. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and must have lived in Montgomery County for at least one year. YAP is currently looking for volunteers in the Souderton, North Penn, Lower Moreland, Upper Moreland, Norristown, Springfield, and Springford areas. Full program details and eligibility requirements can be found here.