We all remember when we were teenagers, and in many cases, we did not make the best decisions, which may have gotten us into trouble. As a parent, you can relate to the feeling of being a juvenile, but hearing that your child has run into trouble with the law can be especially concerning. Unfortunately, teens getting into legal trouble is not uncommon. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), more than 728,000 juveniles were arrested for various crimes in 2018. One of the goals of the juvenile justice system is to help kids get on the right path in life, rather than punishing them for making mistakes. With this in mind, youth diversion programs have become a popular part of juvenile sentencing throughout Illinois and the United States.
What Are Youth Diversion Programs?
One of the main purposes of having a juvenile participate in a diversion program is to avoid putting him or her through the traditional criminal justice system for a minor offense. Youth diversion programs vary in how they operate and are structured, but the essential goal is to provide an intensive and holistic approach to address delinquent behavior. In many situations, the adolescent's family will be included in the diversion program to help encourage their child to reform. Typical services in youth diversion programs can include:
Screenings and assessments