Merrimack County Juvenile Services is an early intervention program that works with predominantly first time juvenile offenders. It is a voluntary alternative to the criminal justice system for young people who have committed a crime or violation of the law. The program is also available to youth on a self referred basis as an educational resource and support.
Youth can be referred to the Program through court order, police, parents, schools or self referred. When referred as a first time juvenile offender the ultimate outcome for successful participation in the program is that they will have no criminal record if they complete contractual obligations.
The Program offers an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system.
The Restorative Community Board (RCB). RCB utilizes a restorative justice approach to rehabilitation. This approach allows juveniles to focus on repairing the damage caused to the victims, community, family and self.
The RCB process involves an intake appointment with offending youth and their parents/guardians. This is followed by a RCB meeting in which the youth meets with adult volunteers and is assigned a contract of items that may include community service, apology letters, research assignments, educational classes, etc and are appropriate consequences to the offense that was committed. If the youth completes all contract items within the timeline given, they have successfully completed the diversion process and will not have a juvenile criminal record.