WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — Washtenaw County is welcoming a new program that allows juveniles to earn money to pay restitution.
The juvenile innovative program is a partnership between the Washtenaw Justice Project, the prosecutor’s office and the public defender’s office.
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Officials say juveniles can earn up to $1,000 toward restitution payments. The money earned will be paid directly to crime victims.
“This new program is a win-win-win,” Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit said in a statement. “It incentivizes young people to get back on the right track. It avoids unnecessarily tethering children to the justice system for lack of financial resources. And it ensures that crime victims who are owed restitution will be compensated quickly and efficiently.”
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The program will be administered through the nonprofit organization, Washtenaw Justice Project and funded through grants from the Song Foundation, Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, and the Skillman Foundation.
Officials say if the juvenile “does everything else that was asked of them, they can be expeditiously discharged from probation without prolonged justice involvement as a result of their inability to pay.”
“Children and teens’ brains haven’t developed to appreciate all the potential options and consequences of their behavior—especially not when it comes to money,” said Washtenaw County Public Defender Delphia Simpson. “The juvenile restitution program will help children and their families with the tremendous debt that can come from poor judgment and youth.”
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