Teens or young adults who break the law because of peer pressure or other negative circumstances often are given another chance through a program offered by the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
T.R.E.N.D. (Taking Responsibility and Empowering New Direction) is a program implemented by Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar in October 2018 for first-time, non-violent offenders between the ages of 17 and 24.
Prosecuting Attorney staff work to identify eligible cases, such as trespassing and shoplifting, before charges are filed. Referrals also come from defense attorneys.
After going through an initial background check, staff meets with the applicant and their attorney to evaluate if he or she will succeed in the six-month program. Often family members are present to offer support. If everyone agrees to move forward with T.R.E.N.D., the participant and a representative of the Prosecuting Attorney’s office sign an agreement.
The program is free, but participants need to fulfill several requirements to graduate:
- They must be enrolled in school at least part time or have a job
- Complete community service at an area non-profit
- Write an essay on why it is important to respect people and their property
- Attend a DWI Victims Impact Panel (regardless of their offense)
- If applicable, pay restitution and attend a drug education program.
- Attend two program meetings every month on a variety of life skills topics, including health, finding employment, and budgeting.
For more information, please contact the Prosecuting Attorney's office at 636-949-7355.