The Youth Assessment Center (YAC) serves as the primary center for intake, screening, and service connection for Champaign County youth and families. Case managers screen at-risk juveniles and link them and their families with the community’s support and restorative services. Law enforcement personnel typically make referrals to the YAC as an alternative to prosecution and to prevent further delinquent activities.
The YAC considers station-adjustment charges, police officer or school official recommendations, family input, and restorative justice methods. These include court diversion services to restore the relationship between the juvenile offender, their victim(s), and the community; mediation; and peer court.
Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders. This can lead to transformation of people, relationships, and communities.
The goal of the YAC is to connect youth with resources that help them to be resilient, resourceful, responsible, and restored to positive community involvement through prompt assessment, treatment/service recommendations, and follow-up.