Providing an Alternative to the Juvenile Justice System in the Northeast St. Paul Suburbs
The Diversion Program is an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system that increases focus on the youth’s needs and addresses underlying issues that contributed to negative behaviors that adversely affect the youth, their family, and their community.
We work with youth ages 12–17 who have justice system involvement including theft, disorderly conduct, or alcohol/drug use. Together with their parents or guardians, we use restorative justice principles to help youth address the incident and harm caused, rebuild their lives, and get back on track. Additional support services such as mental health or family counseling are included in the process when needed.
90% of youth who successfully graduate do not reoffend within six months of program completion.
Youth attend one-to-one consultations, educational seminars with their parents or guardians, perform community service, and if applicable, pay restitution. Youth may also complete service projects, write apology letters to those they have harmed, and participate in chemical use testing. The program works to reduce the number of negative contacts youth have with law enforcement while significantly reducing the likelihood that they will reoffend in the future.
Youth are referred to the program by local public safety officials, school districts partners, and parents or guardians. Youth do not have to have been arrested or charged by law enforcement to be eligible for the program, they just need to have committed a chargeable offense. For more information, please contact Jackie McGovern, Community Services Manager at [email protected] or call 651-379-3449.
“I am now thinking about what I’m doing before I do it.”Quote from a Diversion Program graduate