Diversion Program

The Greene County Juvenile Court Diversion program shall promote public safety by providing a safe, clean, caring setting to deliver program services that are responsive to the behavioral health and life-skills needs of youth and families in Greene County with a focus on diverting qualifying court-referred cases from formal court involvement.

PROGRAM GOALS
Adolescence can be a turbulent time, however it is also a period of great opportunity as young people engage more deeply with the world around them.  The target population for Diversion are youth ages 10 through 17 who are delinquent.  The goal is to address behaviors by providing "light touch" court interventions for the youth and their families.

We are passionate about helping the youth in our community learn life lessons from their mistakes.  Our goal is to teach the life lessons when an event happens, because when you learn the lesson, the odds dramatically decrease that the same mistake will be made in the future.

PREVENTION PROGRAMS
Diversion staff facilitate various prevention programs:
- FIRST TIME OFFENDERS GROUP - A group that processes choices, why those choices
  were made, possible alternative decisions, and hindsight thoughts.
- YOUNG OFFENDERS GROUP - A group that discusses peer pressure, listening to your
   parent(s), and the importance of making positive decisions.
- VICTIM AWARENESS GROUP - A group that focuses on emotions of victims, defining
   what it means to be a victim, financial impacts on a victim and their family members.
- REPEAT OFFENDERS GROUP - A group that discusses how the formal court operates,
  how a formal court record could affect a youth's future, an overview of Juvenile Detention,
  and defining Probation.
- CHARACTER CHRONICLES - A group that focuses on six different character traits:
  Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
- STOP SHOPLIFTING SCHOOL - A group that explains individual impacts of a theft
   complaint, how their behavior affects the economy, and law enforcement perspectives.
- PARENTING THE LOVE AND LOGIC WAY - A group that provides practical skills for
   parents and teaching parents how to prepare their kids for the real world. 

The Diversion Program successfully diverts up to 85% of cases from the formal court system.  By preventing formal court involvement, the youth's record remain clear, which reduces future barriers for employment, military service, or higher educational opportunities.

BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM
The benefits of the Diversion Program are that if the youth and parent(s) complete the program contract, the case will be handled informally with no official juvenile court record. If, however, the program is not completed, the case will be referred to Juvenile Court for a formal hearing.


YOUTH PROCESS RIGHTS
The Diversion Program is based on the philosophy that not all cases are best handled through the formal court system.

Youth referred to the Diversion Program are assured of the following due process rights:
  1. A child who is referred to a diversion program may choose instead to have the matter handled officially by the court.
  2. The child will be expected to admit or deny the alleged behavior at the onset of the diversion hearing. If the child admits the alleged behavior, the hearing officer may develop a diversion contract for the child to complete. If the child denies the alleged behavior, the case may be transferred to the formal court process. The hearing officer has the discretion to refer any case to the formal court at any given time.
  3. The child has a right to consult an attorney before agreeing to program participation.
  4. Any statement made by the child during participation in a diversion program or during negotiations leading to such participation is inadmissible as evidence in any subsequent adjudicatory hearing relative to the original charge as it relates to the child who was in the diversion program. Statements and/or documents in the diversion program may be used in the prosecution of a co-participant who is formally charged.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 937.562.7579.