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Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury Program

Peer Jury Now Accepting Applications

The Village of Downers Grove is currently accepting applications to fill nine (9) juror positions on the Downers Grove Regional Peer Jury. Please read the following information for the selection process before submitting an application:

  • The nine positions have been allocated to Downers Grove residents who will be entering their junior year in high school during the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Jurors will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants who have submitted an application by 5pm Monday, September 9, 2019
  • Jurors will serve a two-year term through their senior year of high school. 
  • No more than four applicants will be selected from any one of the following schools: Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, or a private high school.
  • Selected jurors will be required to attend an orientation session from 5pm-7pm on Thursday October 3, 2019

NOTE: This application is for Downers Grove residents only. If you live in a different municipality that participates in the program, please contact your municipality if you are interested in becoming a peer juror. 

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'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.

The Peer Jury began to hear cases at the start of 2019, as part of a six-month trial period.

Downers Grove Peer Jury Logo

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

2019/2020 Scheduled Peer Jury dates:

  • 08/29/2019
  • 9/26/2019
  • 10/24/2019
  • 11/26/2019 (Tuesday)
  • 01/23/2020
  • 02/27/2020
  • 03/26/2020
  • 04/23/2020

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