The establishment of the Jackson County Community Accountability boards was based on the underlying assumptions that community involvement with minor offenders is beneficial to all involved and, holding youth accountable in their own town provides the youth an opportunity to make logical cause and effect associations about actions and consequences.
The Jackson County Juvenile Services began Community Accountability Boards based on:
- research indicating “low risk” offenders (based on the likelihood of committing additional crimes) should be held accountable for their behavior but the consequence should be quick, appropriate and not excessive;
- some cities felt more could be done to hold juvenile offenders accountable and were asking for an opportunity to work with juvenile offenders who live in their communities, and
- the creation of the Community Accountability Boards allowed more juveniles to be held accountable and provided an opportunity for the Juvenile Services to focus its attention on “High and Medium Risk” juvenile offenders.
The “Low Risk” youth referred to Community Accountability Boards are typically first time offenders who were involved in offenses like criminal mischief, harassment or theft. Although other offenses can be referred to Community Accountability Boards since it is based on the “risk” of the youth and not the offense. Each case is screened and referred from Juvenile Services.
Currently there are two Community Accountability Boards operating, Medford (2013) and Phoenix-Talent (2014). Additional Community Accountability Boards in Eagle Point and White City are expected to be developed over the next year.
A Probation Officer from Jackson County Juvenile Services coordinates the board activities and facilitates meetings and training. Youth face a panel of volunteer community members who decide upon an appropriate consequence.