When a kid commits a crime and lands in the criminal justice system, you have to wonder why it happened. And, you have to wonder if there is something that could be done to help that young person stay out of more trouble.
The Juvenile Diversion Program works with eligible first-time juvenile offenders as an alternative to formal court proceedings. These young people are referred to as clients, and participate in Diversion with their parent or guardian. Diversion programs focus on teaching skills and providing opportunities to practice those skills. Clients are assigned to programs based on their need, must perform a minimum of 30 hours of community service, and complete restitution. See General Information by clicking above.
These are group settings in which clients learn such things as life skills, problem solving, conflict resolution, critical thinking and reasoning skills. Groups are based on gender, age, language and need
Clients perform at least 30 hours of community service. Projects include graffiti removal, trash pick-up, and help with community events.
Specialized Client Services:
This includes Educational Enhancement and Substance Abuse Screening and Treatment. Clients in the Educational Enhancement program receive visits at school by staff members, and get regular feedback about attendance, behavior and performance. They may also be involved in a tutoring program that provides homework help and topic-specific instruction. A full service computer lab including Microsoft Word and the internet is available, along with English as a second language. Substance Abuse Screening is conducted on all clients. Referrals are made to the TASC program for those clients with substance abuse issues.
Clients may take part in family therapy, which includes family sessions as well as individual counseling sessions. In addition to family therapy, parents are asked to attend a minimum of three parent support group meetings.
Restitution is an important piece of the Juvenile Diversion Program. Some clients participate in a program called Acquiring Restitution Through Talent (A.R.T.T.). These clients work with various art forms and crafts then sell their items to earn the money to pay back victims. Others take part in an internship program that also allows them to learn employment skills.
Restorative Justice Program:
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In a number of cases, the victims of crime or community members affected by crime can meet face to face with the person who committed the crime. Restorative justice involves trained staff and/or community members who help ensure both the victim and offender receive answers to their questions as they work toward restoration and closure.
Denver District Attorney's Office
Juvenile Diversion Program
303 West Colfax Avenue, 11th floor
Denver, CO 80204