The Seneca County Juvenile Court Diversion Program is a program involving youth and their families that serves as an alternative to the filing of formal charges against a youth. This program is typically available to a child who exhibits unruly or delinquent behavior and who is, according to the research-based Ohio Youth Assessment System (OYAS), a low-risk offender not likely to reoffend.
A youth in Diversion has the opportunity to avoid the formal filing of a complaint by completing an individualized set of Diversion requirements agreed to up front by the child, the child’s family, and the Diversion Officer. These requirements can include, but are not limited to, community service, counseling, and restitution. The youth will then work with and frequently report to a Diversion Officer who will ensure that the youth successfully completes all agreed upon Diversion requirements.
Once a child successfully completes the Diversion requirements, the case against him or her will be dismissed, and the youth will avoid formal charges on his or her record. If, however, the child fails to complete all Diversion requirements within the set timeframe, the youth’s case will be sent to the Court’s formal docket and the case will proceed accordingly.
The goal of the Diversion Program is to dissuade youth from future inappropriate behavior by opening up their eyes to what can happen if they continue to make poor choices. In addition, the Diversion Program can connect youth and their families to outside agencies for assistance. In the end, the Diversion Program serves as a second chance for youth to correct the mistakes of their past and make better decisions in the future.