A Second Chance For First-Time Offenders
The City of Santa
Clarita’s program is offering alternative punishments
for first-time teen offenders.
first-time, non-violent juvenile offenders with an alternative to the juvenile
In 2008 more then 30 percent of juveniles issued citations
from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriffs station were referred to the Community Court
The program offers offenders the chance to make restitution
through community service, attending classes and paying financial penalties.
If a juvenile offender completes the program, then the
crimes are removed from their records.
“The program is to help first-time offenders learn from
their mistakes and get them to perform their community service here in Santa
Clarita,” said Cynthia Llerenas the City’s Community Service supervisor who
oversees the program.
More than 100 teens took part in the program and were
sentenced to graffiti removal where they served 1,100 hours cleaning up
graffiti from washes on Whites Canyon, Camp
Plenty and Sierra Highway.
Participants in the program also provided community service
to various non-profit organizations in Santa Clarita.
Teens who were cited for traffic violations were sentenced
to attend the City’s Youth grove, where they listened to stories and viewed pictures
of the 71 young people memorialized. The
offenders then wrote essays on how the memorial impacted their lives.
In addition to the community service and attending the Youth
Grove presentation, the Community
Court also includes reckless driving, traffic school
and teen choice classes for more than 200 participants.
The Community Court Diversion Program was founded in