Juvenile Court Diversion
JUVENILE DIVERSION PROGRAM
The Juvenile Court Diversion Program (JCC) founded in 1970 provides pre-court services to youthful offenders. JCC is based on a volunteer community board with representation from business, schools and social service agencies. JCC, as a diversion program, provides an alternative to formal court proceedings for first time offenders. The goal of JCC is to minimize a juvenile’s involvement into the justice system and to encourage a sense of responsibility and accountability of juvenile offenders for the illegal acts.
The Keene City Charter defines memberships on the Juvenile Conference Committee. The City of Keene Mayor appoints members to service of this Committee and the Keene City Council approves the appointments.
The Juvenile Court Diversion (JCC) is a voluntary intervention program for juvenile first time offenders. JCC provides an alternative to formal court proceedings in the Keene District Court. It is the goal of JCC to minimize a young person’s involvement into the justice system and to encourage a sense of responsibility and accountability on the part of youth offenders for their illegal acts. JCC considers each case individually. Dispositions are arraigned that fits the needs of the juvenile, the victim and the community.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
· First Offense
· Under the age of 17
· Facts in the case justify a court hearing
· Youth admits involvement in the crime
· Not all youth are acceptable
HOW DOES DIVERSION WORK?
· The JCC Coordinator arranges an interview for the youth and parents to discuss the referral, explain the program and determine suitability for participation. Upon acceptance in the program, an appearance before the Juvenile Conference Committee, called a Hearing is scheduled. The Committee will ask about the offense and then develop an appropriate plan. This maybe included as an apology letter, community service work, a research paper, restitution, a contract relating to school performance and/or home behavior and other dispositions that utilize established resources with the community.
· It is the decision of the Juvenile Coordinator whether the case is appropriate for diversion and it’s up to the youth to make the most of this opportunity. Successful completion of Diversion results in the criminal charge being dismissed.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE COURT DIVERSION?
· Failure to complete the contract in a timely manner, or being uncooperative in meeting the requirements, results in the case being returned immediately to the police department. The police will then arrange a juvenile court hearing before a judge.
· Committing a second offense while participating in the JCC Court Diversion if unacceptable. If this happens, the diversion case will be closed and the charge referred to the judge along with the second offense.