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 was 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.

What is the Youth Aid Panel? -- The Youth Aid Panel is an alternative method for addressing juvenile criminal actions without the matter being filed with the court system. The panel exists to assist the Juvenile and District courts and is used as a response to first-time summary and misdemeanor offenses. Police officers from participating jurisdictions can refer cases to the Youth Aid Panel for alternate disposition. The panel is not a court of law and does not determine guilt or innocence. The offense is reviewed and resolved by a specially designed community panel, the young offender, and his/her parents or guardians. Because due process protection is a high priority, the youth or his/her guardians may choose to dismiss themselves from the program and enter the juvenile court system at any time.

  • The schedule for upcoming training is: Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center: All sessions are 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM.  Training for new members is MANDATORY
    • Tuesday, May 2nd
    • Tuesday, May 9th
    • Tuesday, May 16th
    • Tuesday, May 23rd
    • Tuesday, May 30th

For more information on how to join please visit and fill out an application!