The Juvenile Diversion Program
The Juvenile Diversion Program was created under CRS 19-2-203 across the Front Range in Denver, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, Larimer and Weld County as an alternative to the regular court process for teens and minors accused of crimes like Sexual Exploitation of Child (CRS 18-6-403), Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child (CRS 18-3-405.4) or Internet Luring of a Child (CRS 18-3-306). The Juvenile Diversion Program hopes to rehabilitate underage individuals in an effort to lessen recidivism rates and keep juvenile detention costs down.
What is the Purpose of the Juvenile Diversion Program in Colorado?
The Juvenile Diversion Program is offered to teens and underage children as a way of moving forward after charges are filed as opposed to going through the normal court process and justice system procedures. Getting into a Juvenile Diversion Program to avoid spending time in a juvenile detention center can only come if a minor pleads guilty to the crime. Prosecutors often offer these programs as incentives for a fast plea deal to avoid lengthy juvenile court cases.
Juvenile Treatment Programs
Many different treatment programs are implemented by Juvenile Diversion Programs across cities like Littleton, Lakewood, Aurora, and Centennial. Cognitive-Behavioral Programming involves therapy in group sessions that are divided according to age, language, and sex. It focuses on problem solving and conflict resolution, as well as other life skills like critical thinking and reasoning. Community Service is also a part of Juvenile Diversion Program and involves extensive public service like trash removal, painting over graffiti, and helping out at food banks and homeless shelters. Juvenile Diversion Programs also include Family Intervention therapy, counseling, and Restitution to Victims.
Acceptance into the Juvenile Diversion Program
There are prerequisites before being accepted into a Juvenile Diversion Program. The accused must have been between 10 and 17 years old when they committed the crime and they must make full admission of their guilt and take responsibility. This must be the first time they have participated in a Juvenile Diversion Program and they can have no other court cases or pending judgments in Denver or any other surrounding districts along the Front Range. The minor and their parents have to voluntarily agree to be a part of the program and they must sign a contract in which they agree to abide by all rules of the program.
– Acceptance of Teens and Minors Overseen by the District Attorney
The County District Attorney oversees the acceptance of teens and minors into the Juvenile Diversion Program. Underage individuals who have committed Class 3, 4, 5, or 6 Felonies and Class 1, 2, or 3 Misdemeanors will generally be accepted or referred to the Juvenile Diversion Program. However, more serious crimes and cases like sexual assault may not be eligible for the Juvenile Diversion Program.