We have a JRB but are having difficulty getting the police to use it regularly and getting school personnel invested. How to get the police to refer youth for diversion and how do we keep school personnel involved?You would start by meeting with the police and the schools to find out why they are not utilizing the program. Common causes are a lack of understanding about how to make a referral, when a JRB referral is appropriate, how does the JRB work, what does it do and other similar questions. It may also be the case that someone in the agency had a bad experience in a particular case or with a particular JRB member and that caused a lack of confidence in the program.
In those situations, it is recommended that select members of the JRB meet with the police and school administration to provide an up to date explanation of the program. If necessary and helpful, representatives of the JRB can make a very brief presentation at police roll call at the beginning of each shift and meet with school principals, social workers and guidance counselors to explain the program.
The police and schools should also be invited to observe a JRB meeting and to get involved as a member or to work with a child to accomplish the goals set for the child by the JRB. They are more likely to become or remain invested in the program if they see themselves as active, contributing participants in the program.
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