- Published: Wednesday, 21 August 2013 21:16
In January 2008, the Holmes County Juvenile Court re-created the Intake and Diversion Program after discovering that first time offending youth need assessed for their history and current maladaptive behaviors. It was also determined that the courts processing of cases created a time delay for the initial appearance of a juvenile for many weeks from the actual time of the offense.
The Intake & Diversion Program is the informal process of diverting youths from further involvement into the juvenile system to an alternative, non-judicial method of dealing with the youth and the offense. Only those youth who have no prior official or unofficial records (first-time offenders) who are alleged to have committed a misdemeanor offense are eligible to participate in the Intake & Diversion Program. The goals of the Intake & Diversion Program are to:
- Quickly and efficiently deal with first-time offenders and swiftly administer justice
- Allow the youth to acknowledge responsibility for his or her actions with appropriate consequences
- Provide the youth and family with needed resources; and
- Prevent further involvement with the juvenile justice system.
Upon receiving the complaint, the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will notify the youth and his/her parents in writing of the date and time of the scheduled Intake and Diversion conference. In order to participate in the Intake and Diversion Program, the youth must admit the charges stated in the complaint are substantially true. If the youth denies or disputes the charges stated in the complaint, the scheduled conference will be cancelled and the complaint will then be filed in the Holmes County Juvenile Court for the youth to respond to the charge(s) in Court.
The youth and his/her parent(s) are required to attend the Intake and Diversion conference at which time the following will occur:
The Intake & Diversion Program Coordinator introduces herself and gets acquainted with the youth and parents. The youth and parents are also asked to provide information concerning the youth, the family and the alleged offense. The Intake & Diversion Coordinator reads the complaint or police report to the youth and parents. At this time, in order to participate in the Intake and Diversion Program the youth must admit the charges stated in the complaint are substantially true. If the youth admits to the offense, the conference will continue, and the Intake & Diversion Program Coordinator will assess the youth and family for concerns. This is done in an effort to link the youth and his/her family to appropriate community resources. If the youth denies the offense or chooses not to participate in the Holmes County Juvenile Court Intake and Diversion Program, the conference will end, and the complaint will be filed in the Holmes County Juvenile Court for the youth to respond to the charge(s) in Court. The final stage of the conference involves the youth accepting responsibility for the offense by signing an Agreed Order wherein he/she commits to abide by certain terms and conditions. The youth's parent(s) or guardian(s) also signs this Order.
The terms and conditions of the Intake and Diversion Program Agreed Order are highly variable and depend upon the offense, the youth and the family needs. The typical time frame of involvement in the Intake & Diversion Program is ninety (90) days; however, this time may be extended if necessary.
The Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator works extensively with school officials, law enforcement agencies and various agencies providing mental health and drug/alcohol counseling. While participating in the Intake and Diversion Program, the youth may expect the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator to contact school officials regarding the youth's attendance and compliance with school rules and regulations; request the youth to submit to random drug and alcohol testing; perform random curfew checks to ensure compliance; and request status reports from agencies providing mental health or drug/alcohol counseling to Intake and Diversion Program participants. Contact Janice Shroyer, LSW for more information (330) 674-5841.