Prosecution Alternatives
for Youth (P.A.Y.)

Prosecution Alternatives for Youth is a juvenile diversion program which offers an informal alternative to prosecution through the formal Juvenile Justice System.

P.A.Y. is designed to provide early intervention and rehabilitation for juveniles. Participation in the P.A.Y. Program is a privilege. Youth successfully completing the program will have their charges dropped, however, youth failing to complete assigned sanctions will have their case returned to court for formal prosecution.

The P.A.Y. Program meets several needs of the community which include:

·        Emphasizing the juvenile's awareness of his/her responsibility to obey the laws of society and to offer education and counseling needed to achieve accountability.

·        Providing early intervention and rehabilitation for juveniles to prevent and reduce juvenile delinquency.

·        Reducing the court caseload by removing cases for intervention, rehabilitation and prevention of recidivism.

·        Providing an effective option to formal prosecution with effective sanctions and services tailored to the conduct and needs of the juvenile.

The P.A.Y. program staff will make a determination on which method to handle each case. Options include: Teen Court, Community Arbitration Program (C.A.P.) and Juvenile Alternatives Services Program (J.A.S.P.).


Teen Court

Defendants will have their case heard before a jury of their peers for a sentencing hearing in a courtroom. Teen volunteers participate in the roles of the defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, court deputy, clerk and jurors. After the case is presented, jurors deliberate and assign appropriate sanctions.


Community Arbitration Program (C.A.P.)

Defendants will have a hearing with a trained community arbitrator. Community arbitrators must complete a thirty hour training course which includes Juvenile Justice Procedures, Juvenile Criminal Law, Communication/Conflict Resolution, Hearing Procedures, and Sanction Philosophy. At that time, appropriate sanctions are immediately assigned to the defendant based upon their offense and service needs.

Juvenile Alternatives Services Program (J.A.S.P.)

Repeat misdemeanor cases, some felony cases and cases involving children in need of services (counseling, drug assessment, etc.) can be referred here. A trained community arbitrator/hearing officer will conduct the hearing to assign sanctions and the case is monitored by a P.A.Y. case manager. (J.A.S.P. is only available in Seminole County).


Brevard County:

Prosecution Alternatives for Youth

Office of the State Attorney

2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way

Building D

Viera, FL 32940

Phone: (321) 617-7294


Seminole County:

Prosecution Alternatives for Youth
Seminole County Juvenile Justice Center
190 Bush Blvd.
Sanford, FL  32773
Phone: (407) 665-5360

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