Youth Aid Panel


In 1993, the Youth Aid Panel was established by now retired Manheim Township Detective Larry Mathias, as a form of restorative / alternative justice for juvenile offenders.  This program was the first of its kind in Lancaster County, and initially overseen by Detective Mathias.  However, the success of the program progressed to the point that it has been implemented throughout Lancaster County and is now overseen by the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. 

The mission of the Youth Aid Panel, then and now, is to provide a restorative / alternative justice program for first-time juvenile offenders.  Initially, the program accepted juveniles who committed summary or misdemeanor crimes.  However, the program has since expanded to accept some non-violent felony offenses.

Manheim Township currently has four (4) active Youth Aid Panels that each consist of approximately six (6) volunteer members.  Three (3) of the panels are for Manheim Township, while the fourth panel is for Lancaster Township.  The mission of each panel is to establish corrective actions for the juvenile offenders that may consist of Community Service, researching a topic pertaining to the crime committed, writing a report associated with the crime committed, or any other corrective actions the Panel deems appropriate in relation to the offense committed.  Upon completion of the assigned corrective actions, the juvenile is released from the program without any formal prosecution through the Juvenile Court system.