The Iowa County court ordered programs is one of the most successful programs of its type in the state. The court ordered program is a Non-traditional form of justice. As the name implies it is directed toward first time offenders ages 12 to 17 years. It is an early intervention program that gives teenage first offenders the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions. Upon completion of their court ordered program sentence the record of the offense is cleared. Offenders are referred to the program through Social Services Juvenal Intake, school officials, law enforcement officers, and the county judicial system. The offenses court ordered program hears are non-violent, misdemeanor offenses such as: Truancy, Disorderly Conduct, Criminal Damage to Property, Retail Theft, etc. All offenders must admit their guilt in order to qualify for court ordered programs. Sentencing is done by a jury of peers, ie other teens. All offenses have written guidelines with minimum and maximum sentences for each offense. The mandatory portion of each sentence is 3 to 6 jury terms, 10 to 30 hours of community service and letters of apology or essays. Many other forms of corrective punishment can be added if the jury feels it is appropriate, such as restitution, counseling, curfews, home grounding. The only adult volunteer for a sentencing is the judge. The volunteers and previous offenders are the attorney's, clerk, bailiff and jurors.
The court ordered program no longer takes Underage Alcohol violators, but we do offer a program for 1st offenders to save them from license suspension. They will still have the conviction but by attending a five week education program, they will not loose their driving privileges.
The goal of the program is to teach responsible behavior to our teens. The young adults in Iowa County are very fortunate to have a Judge and County Board who believe that everyone deserves a second chance.
Community Service hours are also coordinated through the court ordered program Office. Anyone court ordered to community service reports to this office for placement and supervision.