Mission StatementCommunity Youth Services (CYS)- Juvenile Diversion Program provides a positive alternative to formal court proceedings for motivated first-time offenders. Through structured activities and community service, the program aims to reduce the recidivism rate among these youthful offenders.
Partners Police Departments, local community agencies, schools and concerned parents.
How Juveniles are referred An official complaint charging the juvenile with an offense is sent to the CYS Juvenile Diversion program by a local participating police department. It is the decision of the local police department that the best interests of the juvenile and society do not demand formal prosecution of the charge at this time. Instead, the juvenile is being referred to the CYS Juvenile Diversion Program as an alternative to formal intervention.
By participating in and successfully completing the program, no further action will be taken by the Police Department or the County Attorney’s Office. In order to determine if the juvenile is appropriate for and interested in the Juvenile Diversion program, it is necessary that the juvenile and their parent(s) or guardian(s) attend an intake appointment.
Program Funding & Donations Youth don't pay registration fee in order to participate in the program. The overall program funding is obtained through available city, county, or state funding and grants, private donations, business contributions.
More information: Community Benefits Benefits to youth and community; Youth are given the chance to maintain a clean record, while still being held accountable for their crime. The program saves the cost and time of judges, prosecutors, probation officers and clerical staff, thus allowing juvenile court more time to address more serious matters requiring court intervention.
Police Departments who had previously handled their own diversion programs will have extra time to focus efforts in other areas.
The youth give back to the community by doing community service work and thus learn to appreciate their local community and the efforts of others in their community. A community's commitment to helping young juvenile offenders early ensures a youth's commitment to their community and encourages law abiding citizens in the future.
Youth also gain positive experiences with local police departments and community leaders while going through the diversion classes.
The youth are less likely to re-offend after completing the class, thus giving local police more time to deal with higher level offenders and repeat offenders. Volunteer Training All volunteers go through an orientation with the Juvenile Diversion Director. Training sessions for all volunteers are held throughout the year. Each volunteer must attend one training session during their first year. Training sessions are held on a weeknight and run about 3.5 hours. New volunteers are partnered with experienced volunteers or program coordinators for their first 10 week session.
Who can Volunteer The most important trait in any of the CYS Juvenile Diversion volunteers is one’s desire to be a positive role model to youth to help prevent them from going down a criminal path. Volunteers must be willing to make a 10 week commitment to the juvenile diversion youth. The 10 week commitment consists of one hour a week spent with the youth in a group setting and up to one hour of prep time before the group session.
All volunteers must be 21 years of age or older and must pass a criminal background check.
No prior knowledge of the juvenile justice system is required. We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds, professions, and ages. The youth enjoy a variety of volunteers and the diverse make-up of our volunteer staff brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective to the youth.
Diversion VolunteersThe use of volunteers is essential in the implementation of this program. Each group has two or three trained adult leaders assigned. A volunteer is responsible for arranging speakers, activities and tours, facilitating each program meeting, providing guidance and encouragement, and serving as a positive role model. Youth Profile Male or female, 10 to 17 years of age. The youth has no prior criminal conviction. Criminal offense cannot exceed that of a misdemeanor. (Special cases considered) Youth must be enrolled in school or alternative education program. Parents must be supportive of the program and agree to assure transportation to program meetings. Youth may not have previously participated in a diversion program.
The juvenile and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) must undergo a pre-admittance intake appointment with the Program Director or Program Coordinator to evaluate his/her suitability for the program. Background history questionnaires will need to be completed by both the youth and parent(s) or guardian(s). The questionnaires will be reviewed at this intake.
All program requirements are discussed during the intake. Intakes appointments are scheduled by the youth’s parent(s) or guardian(s) with the diversion office. Intakes are held at local police departments. Contract agreements must be signed by both the juvenile and the parent(s) or guardian(s) prior to admission into the program. Community Service Guidelines It is the responsibility of each juvenile to find, secure, and complete their own community service hours. The minimum number of hours needed is 16 hours for the teen (ages 13-17) program and 2 hours for the pre-teen (ages 10-12) program.
All community service locations need to be approved by the Diversion staff. A youth chooses his/her own location site. Youth may choose one, or as many different locations as needed to complete the total hours required. Acceptable locations include local non-profits, senior centers, food shelf’s, churches, hospitals, schools, community centers, libraries, etc.
Unacceptable locations include working for a business or working for a current employer for no cost. It is unacceptable to perform duties for a family member, friends or neighbors.
Written verification of the completed hours is necessary for completion of the program. A youth is required to have all service hours completed by the last class, before graduation.
Program Schedule Meetings occur once a week for a ten week period. Although the order of topics discussed is at the discretion of the team or group leaders, the following is a list of topics to be addressed in all classes.
Class 1 Introduction to the Program - review · Attendance · Point System · Conduct · Group guidelines · Leader Introduction · Question and Answers
Distribution of ten week meeting schedule Discuss the program’s Volunteer requirements, 16 hour minimum, list of sites, verification Collection of Community Service Locations from youth Collection of $50 registration fee’s. Parents attendance is mandatory
Class 2 Introductions and Ice Breaker Activities Get acquainted games may be played on this night. The youth will have an opportunity introduce themselves to one another. Students will also discuss the details of their offence.
Class 3-9 Juvenile Justice System Speakers from juvenile justice system talk about the effect crime have on the community and families. Students will also have opportunity to hear what they can expect if they continue negative behavior.
Self Esteem The focus of this program is on the individual and how a young person’s self esteem affects their behavior. The youth have a field trip to a climbing wall. The youth then have an opportunity to talk about their feelings and process what the have achieved.
Law Enforcement Tour of the police departments booking and the holding cells. Following tour, youth participants will have the opportunity to meet with a police officer and ask questions.
Conflict Resolution Students learn about the benefit of learning how to cope with difficult situations. Students will have an opportunity to be presented with various difficult situations and have the opportunity to respond to each individual situation.
Surviving High School Students will discuss issues pertaining to dealing with the day to day stresses they incur at school. Truth about Drinking and the Reality of Drug Use Presentation on “Realities” of Alcohol and Drug usage in an educational setting, i.e. chemical dependency counselor, C.D. evaluations. Can include film, activity, discussion, etc.
Effects of Crime Students will understand the effects of their crime and the extent of the damage their criminal behavior may have caused to family members, stores, customers, police, and the community as a whole.
Choices and Consequences Students will be able to own their behavior, recognize consequences, make positive choices, and write a letter of apology to the main victim of their crime.
Bullying Understand how bullying happens, the victim/perpetrator cycle, and their own bullying actions. Students will look at various ways of breaking the bullying cycle and changing their own behaviors and helping those around them who may be bullied.
Class 10 Graduation Participants may plan activity, i.e. bring treats. Participants are encouraged to discuss program and benefits. Participants are awarded a certificate verifying successful completion of the program. Parents are encouraged to attend. Program CompletionOnce a youth fulfills the program requirements by attending the meetings, completing the community service hours and earning the 700 point minimum they will have successfully completed the program. The Program Director will send written notification to the referring Police Department of the youth’s completion and they will then dismiss the pending criminal charges.
Each youth receives a certificate signifying their completion of the program. Sent Referral to firstname.lastname@example.org