Youth Diversion is an intervention strategy that provides an alternative to formal processing in the juvenile justice system. Utilizing principals of restorative justice, the focus of YFSB’s Diversion program is to help youth repair the harm caused by criminal behavior and create opportunities for them to take responsibility for their actions, learn from their mistakes, and make better decisions in the future.
YFSB offers Diversion Counseling and Petty Theft Workshops to eligible youth and their families. Eligible youth are typically first time offenders who have committed minor crimes; however the determination of who qualifies is made on a case by case basis by the School Resource Officer Sergeant, sometimes in collaboration with YFSB Counseling staff. The intent of these services is to divert minors from the Juvenile Court System through offering a learning experience as an alternative to time spent in Juvenile Hall.
In the YFSB Diversion Programs, counselors work collaboratively with police officers to educate juvenile offenders about the consequences of their arrest. Counselors have a minimum of five meetings with families to help youth learn to take responsibility for the decisions they have made and identify strategies for making better decisions in the future. They may also arrange for community service assignments or other learning tasks. The focus of the program is on personal accountability and character building.
Juveniles who successfully complete the Youth Diversion Program are not referred to the Probation Department or the District Attorney’s office and they have the option to have their record sealed once they turn 18. For more information on Juvenile Record Sealing, please visit the Alameda County Probation Department Website.