The Juvenile Court utilizes what is referred to as the Consent Calendar to handle many delinquency matters in a more informal way. Unlike our Diversion Program, the Consent Calendar option begins with a formal petition from the prosecutor’s office. For many first time offenders a less formal approach to their mistake can reduce the probability of offending again and can provide them with the services they need. Youth who complete the contract of the Consent Calendar successfully do not have a formal record. In this way, youth can take responsibility for their actions and get the guidance they need without a long, drawn out formal Court process and the resulting stigma of being a delinquent.
Terms of the Consent Calendar contract are created between the Court’s Caseworkers and the youth and his/her parents. A portion of the contract is nonnegotiable, things the youth must do in order to be successful. Another part of the contract however is negotiated so that the youth and his parents have a say so in what he/she wants/needs to do to become more successful. Having shared control over the process makes the 19th Circuit Court’s use of the Consent Calendar truly unique, and more importantly, effective.