Diversion Programs


Diversion

Diversion is a voluntarily process in which juveniles with the following referral types may be diverted from formal Court action: status offenses, misdemeanor offenses, miscellaneous City Code violations and other offenses that the County Attorney determines are eligible for Diversion for resolution.

Juvenile Probation Officers assigned to Diversion are responsible for scheduling interviews with juveniles and parents to determine whether formal court action is necessary. If the juvenile takes responsibility for the complaint, the matter can be resolved in Diversion. If the juvenile takes responsibility for the complaint, the matter can be resolved outside the formal Court process. Consequences are given and a specific deadline for completion is determined. The consequences can include but are not limited to community service, monetary penalty, counseling and educational classes. If a juvenile denies the charge, a Petition Request is completed by the Juvenile Probation Officer and forwarded to the County Attorney for review. If the juvenile fails to complete the assigned consequences, a Petition Request is completed by the Juvenile Probation Officer and sent to the County Attorney. It is up to the County Attorney to determine if the juvenile will need to appear in Court.

CUTS (Court Unified Truancy Suppression)

CUTS is a Diversion program that assists juveniles with first and second truancy complaints by providing services which educate and address the individual needs of the juvenile and family. By addressing truancy issues at the juvenile's school with their parent/guardian and a school representative involved, the juvenile is held responsible, the parent is empowered and communication barriers are removed to ensure that the juvenile is successful and receives an appropriate education.

In order to foster and promote long-term changes, consequences are specifically designed to educate and reintegrate the juvenile back into school with the support of school officials. To participate in the CUTS Program, the juvenile must admit to being truant and be willing to take responsibility for missing school. Consequences can include but are not limited to community service, truancy educational classes, tutoring hours and counseling if necessary.  The juvenile's driver's license may be suspended if the juvenile fails to appear to the CUTS hearing or fails to complete a consequence.

Citation Diversion

A citation is a document written by Law Enforcement or authorized School Personnel charging a juvenile with a minor offense. The citation states the time and place that the recipient must appear for a Citation hearing. Citations are used for offenses such as truancy, curfew, minor consumption of alcohol, tobacco violations, city park violations, and some traffic offenses.

Juvenile Probation Officers assigned to Citation Diversion conduct citation interviews/hearings with the juvenile and parents. If the juvenile takes responsibility for the complaint, the matter can be resolved outside of the formal Court process. Consequences are given and a specific deadline for completion is determined. The consequences can include but are not limited to community service, monetary penalty, counseling and educational classes.  The juvenile's driver's license may be suspended if the juvenile fails to appear for any of the citation hearings or fails to complete a consequence. If the juvenile denies the charge or fails to comply with consequences, the citation is set for a Citation Court hearing.

Drug Diversion

The Drug Diversion Program is a joint effort between the Maricopa County Attorney’s office and the Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department. The goal of the Drug Diversion program is to reduce the incidence of drug use among juveniles and provide juveniles with skills that will help them stop using illegal drugs. The program provides juveniles a means of developing skills to stop illegal drug use, an opportunity to learn about his/her responsibility to self, family and community and a clean and sober support network. In addition, the program offers a Parenting Skills class designed to provide parents/families a means of developing skills and become familiar with community support and resources.

For a juvenile to be accepted into the program they must admit responsibility of the offense and agree to complete the assigned consequences. Consequences of the Drug Diversion Program include but are not limited to attending the 8-10 week In-House Drug Education classes, providing regular drug testing urinalysis, 12-Step meetings and counseling if deemed appropriate.

When a juvenile successfully completes the program, their felony drug charge(s) will be downgraded to a misdemeanor and the juvenile will not have to go to Court. The charge will be closed and the juvenile will have successfully completed Diversion. If a juvenile fails to comply with or complete the program or denies the charge, the Juvenile Probation Officer submits a Petition Request to the County Attorney for review and the County Attorney determines if the juvenile will need to appear in Court.

Families In Need of Services (FINS)

FINS (Families In Need of Services) is a prevention/intervention process aimed to address the specific needs of families who are coping with incorrigible behaviors in their children. The goal of FINS is to provide substantive information and services to the juvenile and family aimed to prevent involvement in the Juvenile Court system.

Through participation in an interview with a FINS Juvenile Probation Officer (phone or in-person) the juvenile and parent(s) attempt to utilize family strengths and support systems to help resolve the conflicts which brought the family to FINS for help. When appropriate, the PO may refer families to resources in the community.

If you need assistance from FINS, please contact the FINS Help Line at 602-506-5913.

Safe Schools

The School Safety Program was developed to meet the requirements established by ARS 15-154 in 1994 for the purpose of providing funding to place School Resource Officers (SRO) and Juvenile Probation Officers (JPO) on school campuses throughout Arizona. The presence of the Juvenile Probation Officer on school grounds is primarily for the purpose of delinquency prevention through implementation of Law Related Education (LRE). LRE provides students with the knowledge (laws and the legal process), skills (such as conflict resolution, goal setting and critical thinking) and values (such as fairness, responsibility and respect) necessary to become productive, law-abiding citizens.

As educators and role models, the JPOs develop positive relationships with students, staff and the school community. The JPO functions as a fair, consistent adult that students can go to with their safety concerns and have them addressed. By cultivating positive adult relationships, school engagement, youth programs, interpersonal competence, and caring school climates, the School Safety Program has the ability to impact what research suggests are most important to academic achievement and delinquency prevention.

Teen Court

Teen Court provides a practical response to the problems associated with delinquency and plays an active role in educating young people and the community about the law and citizenship. Teen Court is a Diversion program that provides a courtroom or peer jury atmosphere in which students hear the circumstances involved in a violation of the law, and subsequently order restorative consequences. The Teen Court does not determine guilt; an admission of responsibility must occur during the initial interview with a probation officer as one of the criteria for proceeding through the Teen Court process.

Youth volunteers are referred to Teen Court through schools, Justice Courts, or through the Diversion referral process.  The Teen Court hears the case and determines appropriate, constructive consequences, using the principles and philosophy of Restorative Justice. Constructive consequences consist of elements of deterrence and education. These can include the assignment of community service hours, restitution, letters of apology, counseling, tutoring, research papers, educational classes, skill-building classes, and the assignment of jury duty. The assignment of jury duty allows the defendant to become a part of the process for a period of time.

Involvement in Teen Court is an educational experience for the youth volunteers and empowers students by involving them in decisions traditionally reserved for school administrators, probation officers and judges. Teen Court operates in Schools, Lower Jurisdiction Courts (LJC), and Community Based Centers that are located in a variety of sites throughout Maricopa County.

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