PayBack, Inc. is a local nonprofit 501 C(3) organization housed in the St. Louis City Family Courts building, in an office generously donated by the Courts. Sustained through the generous donations of private individuals, businesses, grants and fund-raising events; PayBack works with an operating budget of just over $100,000.00, 13 volunteer Board Members, and 1 paid Program Administrator.
PayBack works in partnership with Metropolitan St. Louis Area Family Courts to help children, their families and our community, break the cycle of juvenile delinquency. Our goal is to fund and administer restorative justice programs for juvenile offenders and victims by raising restitution funds, locating job sites, and restoring the juvenile sense of self through personal accountability, community service and job skills. We celebrate serving the community for over 30 years and happily report that more than 70% of the juveniles, who participate in their program, never return to the Family Courts as re-offenders. In addition, more than half a million dollars has been returned to metro area crime victims by youth in the PayBack program.
PayBack’s collaborative effort involves three components:
Juveniles, who come before the St. Louis Metropolitan Area Family Courts for crimes such as vandalism, shoplifting, or burglary are screened, counseled, ordered to participate in a victim impact session (when the courts deem it appropriate) and placed at local not-for-profits for their court ordered community service. For this mandatory work, juveniles earn minimum wage credit through PayBack (the dollar amount is determined and ordered by the courts), to be used exclusively for repayment to their victims. Those juveniles requiring more supervision are referred to work crews consisting of 4-5 children, under the supervision of a Work Crew Coordinator.
Through feedback from children, parents, victims, work sites and court personnel, we know this program works!