The Juvenile Arbitration Program is a community-based program that provides fast track accountability for first-time juvenile offenders charged with committing a nonviolent crime. Trained volunteer arbitrators conduct the hearings and monitor the juveniles’ progress throughout the program, which is authorized to operate by Solicitor’s Offices in all 16 judicial circuits in South Carolina.
How does the participant enter the Arbitration Program?
The juvenile receives a ticket at the time of the offense. The juvenile and parent are required to attend court for an initial appearance before the Family Court Solicitor. The appearance date is specified on the ticket. At the Initial Appearance the Family Court Solicitor will refer the juvenile to the Arbitration Program. An orientation of the program will be given by the program director. The program is explained and the juvenile is given the date, time and location to meet with a volunteer arbitrator to discuss the requirements for completion of the Arbitration Program.
What are the requirements of the Arbitration Program?
To complete successfully the Juvenile must admit guilt and complete all requirements within 60 days at which time the juveniles’ charge will be dismissed.
Sanctions may include but not limited to:
- Paying monetary restitution
- Performing a community service
- Attending educational programs
- Participating in counseling
- Writing topical essays
- Apologizing to the victim(s)
- Visiting correctional institutions