Generous Jurors is a Program that is being used nationwide to allow jurors to donate their jury pay to a charity, organization or cause identified by the Circuit Court in their communities. Currently there are several thriving programs in Maryland. In 2010, the Circuit Court for Talbot County and the Talbot County Department of Social Services collaborated and brought the “Generous Juror Program” to Talbot County.
In Talbot County, jurors’ donations go directly to the local Department of Social Services Foster Care unit. The donations are used to provide for foster children in the county items which state budgets do not always support, such as extra-curricular uniforms, funds for field trips, and birthday and holiday gifts.
According to April Sharp, director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services (TCDSS), “The Generous Juror’s program provides an opportunity for all citizens called for jury duty to make a simple, yet meaningful gesture that helps a child in need. This small gesture contributes to a brighter future for our children.”
Not only does this initiative help the foster children of Talbot County, it also provides a solution for those jurors whose employers do not permit them to keep their jury pay. As of 2013, TCDSS has collected $420 from the Generous Jurors Program and hopes that the program continues to grow.
Judge Bo Earnest of the Talbot County Circuit Court, comments, “While the Court recognizes that jury pay is relatively modest and that many people can’t afford to give up even this modest payment, for those so able and inclined, the Court is grateful for their contribution to such a worthy cause.”
For more information about the Generous Jurors Program please contact Susan Merriken, Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-5473.