Students won't be prosecuted after drug raid
Apr 22, 2010
From the Article by Darrell Cole in the Amherst Daily News:
Most, if not all students arrested at Amherst Regional High School following a drug raid earlier this month will escape criminal prosecution.
Deputy Chief Ian Naylor of the Amherst Police Department said that while interviews still have to be completed with two of the 30 youth arrested, the 28 young people and all five adults detained qualify for either restorative justice or adult diversion.
"Our goal has always been finding a positive outcome and what we've been saying from the beginning is that we would look at all situations to see if they met the criteria for referral to the programs," Naylor said. "We have to be fair and we have to be consistent and that's what we have done."
The students, who are all serving suspensions from classes, were arrested on Friday, April 10 when police, acting on a complaint received from the community set up surveillance at the school and then arrested 25 young people for allegedly smoking and possessing marijuana in the rear parking lot at Amherst Regional High School.
That number was later increased as the investigation continued.
At the time of the bust, a small quantity of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were seized along with some unknown pills.
While the students qualify for alternative justice, Naylor stressed it should not be viewed as getting a free pass through the justice system because he said criminal prosecution and punishment is not always the answer.
"We don't consider this a lesser option than the courts, but it's a more appropriate option based on the circumstances," said Naylor. "The whole idea of this is trying to change someone's behaviour and sometimes the courts are not the most effective method to use."
Read the full article.