Although the Youth Aid Panel process functions separately from the formal Juvenile Justice System, victims’ rights are paramount. The various Victims’ Rights Act requirements, including the Victim of Juvenile Offenders Act 86-2000, are followed, and the attention paid to the victim under the BARJ Model balances the Obligation Equation.
All victims’ rights procedures mandated in the investigation, arrest, processing, and adjudication of a juvenile through Juvenile Court are followed in the YAP process. Victims do not have to attend the YAP meeting with the juvenile and their family; however, they must be notified when a juvenile is referred to YAP.
Consistent with the principles of BARJ, consideration of the victim is of primary concern in YAP. Panel members will be provided with an understanding of the impact of the crime on the victim, including a written victim impact statement if the victim chooses.
Restitution will always be ordered whenever the victim has suffered financial loss due to the juvenile’s offense.