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Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury Program

On August 6, 2021 jurors for the 2021-2022 school year were sworn in by DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

2021 Peer Jury Swearing In

The Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury has been convened for the 2021-2022 school year and will begin hearing cases starting in August 2021. We will again accept applications in the summer of 2022. 

The Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury is open to public and private high school students entering their junior or senior year of high school who reside in the following participating municipalities: Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, & Willowbrook

Participation in the program is limited to 60 students and divided by the population percentage of  the municipalities that participate in the program. Jurors are selected by the municipality the student resides in. 

What it takes to be a Peer Juror:

  • A willingness to commit 2-3 hours a month to attend peer jury hearings

  • Possess an interest in helping peers and the community

  • Must have parent or guardian approval to participate

  • Must be trusted to keep confidential information 

Additional questions regarding the application process can be submitted to peerjury@downers.us   

The Village of Downers Grove is excited to announce the formation of the Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury program. A Peer Jury is an alternative to court for first-time juvenile offenders of non-serious offenses, such as theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, tobacco possession or underage drinking. The jury is comprised of high-school aged student volunteers. Juveniles must agree to the peer jury process and provide an admission of guilt to participate in the program.  

In 2018, the Village Council directed staff to operate a peer jury program for qualifying cases from municipalities nearby Downers Grove which previously participated in the Downers Grove Township program. This cooperative effort includes Burr Ridge, Clarendon Hills, Darien, Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Oak Brook, & Willowbrook. The Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury was sworn in by DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin on October 16, 2018.  The Peer Jury began to hear cases at the start of 2019. 

The Peer Jury's purpose is to provide a means for the young offender to account for their own behavior to a group of peers and repair the harm caused to the victim and to the surrounding community. Peer Jury does not determine guilt or innocence. Peer Jurors attempt to understand why the offender committed the offense and then determine   the consequences to help the offender be accountable for their actions and further develop the offender into an upstanding member of the community. Peer Jurors sign an oath of confidentiality and are required to recuse themselves from any case in which they know or could know the offender. All juveniles appearing before the Peer Jury are  treated with dignity and respect.

Downers Grove Peer Jury Logo

Peer Jury hearings are normally held at the Downers Grove Village Council Chambers on select Thursday evenings.

Examples of cases heard by the Peer Jury include:

  • Damage to Property
  • Theft
  • Retail Theft
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Fighting/Battery
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Curfew
  • Possession of Alcohol
  • Possession of Cannabis/Drug Paraphernalia 
  • Other Cases as Approved
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What it takes to be a Peer Juror

● A willingness to commit 2-3 hours a month to attend peer jury hearings

● Possess an interest in helping peers and the community

● Must have parent or guardian approval to participate

● Must be trusted to keep confidential information

 

 

 

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Peer Jury: An Inside Look