Juvenile First Offender Program

Civil Citation Process

The Juvenile First Offender (JFO) Program is a voluntary program designed to divert juvenile first offenders from the justice system and reduce recidivism, the likelihood that the juvenile will commit another criminal offense.

  • First-time misdemeanor offenders arrested for crimes such as shoplifting, trespass, possession of marijuana under 20g or possession of paraphernalia, simple battery, affray, possession of alcohol, and criminal mischief are referred to the program by the arresting PBSO deputy.
  • All arresting paperwork is held by the JFO Program for those meeting the program criteria.
  • A Notice of Referral and a Notice of Arbitration Hearing are sent to the legal guardian inviting both the guardian and the youth to participate in the program.
  • The youth must be willing to admit guilt, sign a statement waiving their rights to due process, and be willing to actively participate in the program.
  • An Arbitration Hearing is scheduled to discuss the case, assess needs, and assign sanctions.
  • Sanctions are assigned at the Arbitration Hearing to encourage the youth to think about the consequences of their actions. Examples of sanctions are performing community service hours, anti-theft or anger management classes, being subject to random drug testing, paying restitution, observing a curfew, taking a tour of the jail, participating in youth court, writing essays, and writing a letter of apology.
  • The program can typically be completed within ninety (90) days.
  • No criminal charges will be filed if the youth complies with the requirements and sanctions of the program.
  • If the youth does not meet the JFO Program criteria, does not actively participate, is re-arrested, or fails to successfully complete the program, the case will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for filing of criminal charges.