Diversion is a voluntarily program for youth diverting from formal court action who have the following referral types: status offenses, misdemeanor offenses, miscellaneous City Code violations and other offenses that the County Attorney determines are eligible for diversion.
Juvenile Probation Officers in the diversion program schedule interviews with the youth and their parents or legal guardians to determine if formal court action is necessary.
If the youth takes responsibility for the complaint, the matter can be resolved outside of the formal court process and in the diversion program instead. During the program, youth are given consequences and a specific deadline for completion. The consequences can include but are not limited to community service, monetary penalty, counseling, and educational classes.
If a youth denies the charge, a Petition Request will be completed by the Juvenile Probation Officer and forwarded to the County Attorney for review.
If the youth fails to complete the assigned consequences, a Petition Request is completed by the Juvenile Probation Officer and sent to the County Attorney. The County Attorney will determine if the juvenile needs to appear in court.
Community Alternatives and Restoration Services (CAReS)
The Community Alternatives and Restoration Services (CAReS) Team provides alternatives to secure care detention, supervised community service, and/or paid victim restitution projects in collaboration with community partners. The projects and partnerships consider the distinct developmental needs of youth while holding them accountable for their behavior.
Court Unified Truancy Suppression (CUTS)
The CUTS diversion program for youth with first and second truancy complaints removes communication barriers and ensures that the youth successfully receives an education. The program addresses truancy issues at the youth’s school with their parent/guardian and a school representative to hold the youth responsible and empower the parent/guardian.
With the support of school officials, youth are given specifically designed consequences to foster and promote long-term change.
Youth must admit to being truant and must be willing to take responsibility for missing school to participate in the CUTS Program. Consequences can include but are not limited to community service, truancy educational classes, tutoring hours, and counseling, if necessary. The youth’s driver's license may be suspended if they fail to appear to the CUTS hearing or if they fail to complete a consequence.
The Citation Diversion program provides youth a way to avoid court involvement if they have minor offenses like truancy, curfew infractions, minor consumption of alcohol, tobacco violations, city park violations and some traffic offenses.
How Citation Diversion Works
- Youth and parents participate in a scheduled interview about the infraction.
- Youth are encouraged to take accountability to avoid court proceedings.
- Youth are given consequences with deadlines.
- Youth are expected to complete their restitution activities by the deadline.
In collaboration with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the Juvenile Probation Department, the Drug Diversion program increases youth understanding of the harmful effects of drug use and equips youth with skills to avoid use. The program provides a supportive network, skill development opportunities, awareness of personal and communal responsibilities, and a parenting skills class for the family.
How Drug Diversion Works
- Youth acknowledge their offense and agree to treatment.
- Youth complete 8-10 weeks of in-house education classes and counseling.
- Youth are expected to pass regular drug tests.
- Youth who successfully complete the program will have charges downgraded to misdemeanor offenses.
Families in Need of Services (FINS)
This program helps provide prevention and intervention to address parents who are coping with incorrigible behavior in their children.
- Provides resources and support to parents.
- Facilitates conflict resolution for families.
- Refers families to available community resources.
JIPS provides highly structured supervision for youth who are at an increased risk of reoffending or are on probation with prior felony referrals.
- Provides increased community supervision aligned with lower caseload ratios.
- Requires weekly pre-planned structured activities.
- Reduces the need for placement in a secure care juvenile facility.
Teen Court actively educates youth and the community about the law and provides a practical response to delinquency problems. Youth participate in peer trials to better understand the legal process, but the Tean Court trials do not determine the guilt of the offender.
How Teen Court Works
- Youth volunteers are referred to the court through schools, justice courts, or diversion.
- Teen Court hears cases and determines constructive consequences through restorative justice.
- Youth learn about the educational elements of restorative justice.
Electronic Monitoring Unit
When ordered by the court, the Electronic Monitoring Unit team provides an additional level of supervision and structure with electronic monitoring (GPS) and training as an alternative to secure care detention (JETS).
- Improves success rates for juvenile offenders.
- Reduces a juvenile’s time in detention.
- Monitors youth behavior to ensure no additional offenses occur.