Exploring Juvenile Diversion Programs in Illinois

joliet juvenile lawyer

When your child is in legal trouble, it can be extremely stressful for the entire family. Often times, you do not know what will happen to your child, whether or not they will serve jail time and what non-legal repercussions will come of your child’s situation. While some juvenile offenders have committed crimes that are serious enough to warrant juvenile detention , most children in juvenile detention are serving time for minor offenses and have significant mental health issues. Juvenile detention is the youth equivalent to adult incarceration, but studies have shown that not all juveniles benefit from being in detention. This is why juvenile diversion programs were created as an alternative to incarceration.

What Are Diversion Programs?

Juvenile diversion programs are used to redirect juvenile offenders out of the justice system by using programming, supervision, and support. Most juvenile offenders who are a part of a diversion program have committed minor offenses

Using diversion programs helps offenders from becoming repeat offenders, and it has been shown that a diversion program is a more effective response than juvenile detention.

Elements of Juvenile Diversion Programs

The structure and operation of juvenile diversion programs can differ greatly, but the main goal of the diversion programs tends to be the same: to address delinquent behavior and attempt to prevent future delinquency. Services that diversion programs provide to juveniles and their families include:

• Screening and assessments;

• Educational and tutorial services;

• Service learning programs;

• Job skills training;

• Mental health treatment;

• Crisis intervention;

• Family counseling;

• Supports for rebuilding family relationships; and

• Recreation and organized sports programs.

Each case is different and diversion programs can be customized—at least to an extent—to meet the needs of the juvenile in question.

Get in Touch With a Will County Juvenile Defense Lawyer

It can be a parent’s worst nightmare to learn that their child is involved with the criminal justice system. Many times, juvenile offenders are sent to juvenile detention, though it has not been shown that juvenile detention benefits the majority of juvenile offenders. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C., we can help you avoid detention for your child at all costs. Our skilled Joliet juvenile defense attorneys can help you fight for alternative sentencing for your child. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.