I would like to know what types of programs (community service, counseling, parks and rec) other JRB's are offering or requiring diverted individuals to attend.Diversions vary depending on the needs of the child and family, the nature of the case, the availability of appropriate programs and other factors. They may include community service, individual and family counseling, psychological or psychiatric assessment and treatment, drug assessment and treatment, apology to the victim or the police, participation in approved after school activities, participation in a positive youth activity, maintain a journal of good decisions, participation in a program such as Wilderness School or some local event such as a town fair or police bike safety program, participation in a program dealing with hate/bias crimes or fire setting behavior (new programs are being developed on these two topics).
Interviewing a professional and writing a meaningful essay can also be an effective diversion to help a child learn about and appreciate the consequences of their actions. A child arrested for throwing snow balls at cars might be required to interview someone such as a doctor at a medical center to hear firsthand the types of injuries that result from car accidents. A child charged with pulling a false fire alarm might be asked to interview a firefighter about the consequences of responding to an alarm. These diversions can have a more real and positive impact on the child than having the child rake leaves on the town green.
JRBs are encouraged to be creative and custom tailor the diversions to meet the needs of the family. In a recent case, there was an issue of the single parent being out of the home over night occasionally due to her job. Her teen aged son was left alone on these occasions and permitted kids in the home without motherís knowledge and consent. What the JRB did was to require that the mother notify the resident trooper when she was going to be away and the trooper would make it a point to stop or drive by the house at any hour to make sure no one else was in the house.
That type of plan, uniquely tailored to the familyís situation, work best in JRB cases.
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