Many juveniles referred to juvenile court are first or second time offenders who commit offenses such as shoplifting, malicious mischief, or possession of alcohol. These youth may be eligible for an alternative to formal court processing known as "diversion." Diversion is provided by the court's "Partnership for Youth Justice" program. After the prosecutor reviews the case and determines that the youth is eligible for diversion, the case is referred to the program. If both the youth and the program agree to diversion, the youth meets with a Community Accountability Board (CAB) made up of volunteers from the community or other community agency. The CAB and the youth enter into a written agreement about what consequences will be imposed for the youth's behavior. The agreement may include restitution to the victim, community restitution work (i.e. community service), a fine, counseling, informational or educational classes, and other options. State law defines the types and extent of consequences that that may be imposed. If the youth does not want to participate in diversion or fails to comply with the agreement, the case is referred back to the prosecutor for filing of charges. For more information please click here or call Partnership for Youth Justice at 206-296-1133.
Check out these Frequently Asked Questions about Diversion.