Youth Restitution Program

In 1996, the Making a Difference (MAD) program was initiated by the Municipality of Anchorage to address a remarkable spike in juvenile crime the year before. It was the first program of its kind to specifically target the reduction of recidivism among low-risk, first-time juvenile offenders in Anchorage. MAD is a partnership between Volunteers of America Alaska, the Anchorage Juvenile Intake Unit at McLaughlin Youth Center, and Anchorage Youth Court.

Juveniles enter the program after completing an interview with a probation officer at the Anchorage Juvenile Intake Unit. Generally, first-time offenders who are not considered dangerous are referred to Anchorage Youth Court. Youth Court brings them to a hearing before their peers, orders the completion of community work, payment of restitution (where applicable), and attendance at one or more special classes. Once a judgment is delivered, the juveniles are referred to Volunteers of America's Youth Restitution Program to meet with a Sentencing Coordinator and make arrangements to fulfill the terms of their sentences. This Sentencing Coordinator holds the young people accountable, providing important monitoring and compliance information for the Intake Unit and the Youth Court. The Youth Restitution Program at Volunteers of America is responsible for:

  • Scheduling youths for any educational classes assigned
  • Coordinating the completion of community service hours
  • Reading and signing off on ordered essays
  • Verification of attendance at classes
  • Forwarding completion and noncompliance information
  • Maintaining weekly communication with clients

For more information please contact:
Youth Restitution Sentencing Coordinator