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WRTV Fact Check Friday: Will the Second Chance Program hold teens accountable?

Posted at 5:34 AM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 07:49:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A new option is now available to teens who break the law in Marion County.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears is working with the Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis to unveil the Second Chance Program.

Viewers and readers wondered:


How will teens in the Second Chance Program be held accountable?


The plan to give kids who get in trouble an option for detention that will involve the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis. Eligible youth will get a pass to the club costing taxpayers $25 a year, which is much cheaper than the cost of housing a child at the Juvenile Detention Center.

The newly created Second Chance Program is meant for teens facing what are considered low-level criminal charges like criminal trespass, curfew violation, possession of marijuana, theft and vandalism.

Even then, every case is specific, so there's no guarantee kids will get a second chance through the program.

Teens not eligible for the program include having a prior arrest, possession of a firearm or young people who need more extensive mental health or drug treatment services.

Youth who get a Boys and Girls Club pass will be monitored, and those who fail to show up will be called back to court. That is not optional.

Re-filing criminal charges is a final resort. There is no minimum or maximum time that a teen as to use the club, but if there is no activity within 90 days, there will be a call made to the teen's family.

So far, five cases have been referred to the program.

RELATED | 'Second Chance Program' aims to help Indianapolis youth

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