Project Insight is a community service work program that provides the opportunity for young people to perform public service work in lieu of other traditional sanctions. The youth are usually first time offenders who are guilty of delinquent behavior and have been charged with minor offenses. Referrals come from the juvenile court judges, court service unit, intake officers, and occasionally probation officers. Youth are given the opportunity to make amends by donating time to non-profit work sites within the community. Work sites are recruited from government agencies and non-profit organizations.
In October 2007, Project Insight Programs were reorganized to meet state mandated nonresidential standards. Specifically, three distinct programs were identified: Community Service Hours, Law Related Education I, and Law Related Education II. All three programs are ordered in lieu of more traditional judicial sanctions. The referring party sets the number of hours youth are required to work and/or program assignments.
Other aspects of Project Insight include:
Group Assignment Project (GAP): In addition to regularly assigned community service work, GAP allows three to five youth to work with part-time staff in a closely supervised local park setting. This setting accommodates youth who are very young, have specific problems or who could not be placed because space is not available. GAP began in March 1997.
Law Related Education I (LRE I): Youth can also be referred to Law Related Education I. LRE I combined previous programs and now requires a youth to attend two (2) classes and complete informational homework that is charge specific. Both classes are group interactive and a parent must attend the second class. The program design uses the Virginia RULES evidence-based curriculum that focuses on the criminal justice system with particular emphasis on how Virginia's laws apply to young people.
Law Related Education II (LRE II): When a youth is referred to Project Insight charged with arson or destruction of property by fire, the youth participates in Law Related Education II. LRE II is strictly for fire and firearm related offenses with referrals made to the fire and police departments. In conjunction with the Fire Departments of the various localities, the youth and his/her parents will meet with the Fire Safety Officer and discuss the danger to self, other people, property, etc. Also covered will be the cost of fighting fires and a tour of the station.