Criminal Justice Research Paper on Juvenile Diversion Programs

Juvenile Diversion Programs


Juvenile diversion programs are community-based correctional courses tasked with reforming delinquent youths and restoring justice. The programs are committed towards sustaining philosophical justice while balancing the needs among offenders, victims, and community members. Thus, they aim at reducing juvenile criminal incidences among communities and the country. In 2012, the United States Legal Council defined a diversion program as a criminal justice system. Youths are incarcerated to juvenile diversion programs to serve a sentence for juvenile delinquent misconducts. They include robbery, bullying in schools, alcohol and drug abuse, engaging in fights, and even murder among other criminal incidences (Alina, 2010). This dissertation article will research two juvenile diversion programs operating in Washington, D.C. It will focus on the goals, objectives, and core beliefs applied to run and manage the programs. It will also identify and discuss the key participants within the juvenile programs. Lastly, it will conclude through the identification of strengths and weaknesses within the programs. Thus, this research article seeks to determine if juvenile programs effectively and efficiently help to reduce crime rates in the country.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ)

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) is a non-profit organization privately operated to reduce crime rates among societies in Washington, D. C. It strives to educate members of the society on the adverse effects among the youth for engaging in criminal activities and delinquent behaviors. Thus, CJCJ is a program that does not depend on incarcerations and imprisonment to reduce crime rates and solve social issues and challenges. Instead, it provides developed plans and courses to assist people likely to serve a prison term for criminal and delinquent behaviors. It also provides technical assistance among jurisdictions striving to establish model juvenile programs for offenders within the Washington, D. C societies (JJB, 1999).

The program employs highly qualified, skilled, talented, and experienced staff as professionals. They include defense attorneys, Youth Services Administrators, nurses, chefs, and teachers. Their main tasks include working with offenders and victims from different and diverse backgrounds. Thus, it is vital for the professionals to originate from diverse environments, cultures, and societies with expertise knowledge on criminal and justice field. Ultimately, they are committed to achieve the program’s goals and objectives (JJB, 1999).

The Oak Hill Youth Center Depopulation Project

            This juvenile management and advocacy project is also located in Washington, D.C. It plans, develops, designs, and implements program plans and courses utilized during pre-adjudication court hearings. Just like CJCJ, it also aims at fostering public safety. Its core beliefs include applying socially developed courses to reform delinquent youths in the community. It operates under the belief that community based programmed plans and courses are more effective and efficient at reforming delinquent youths. Consequently, high rates with regards to criminal activities conducted by delinquent youths in the community are reduced. It comprises three judiciary processes. The program undertakes operations and functions with guidance from hired and appointed defense attorneys and Youth Services Administrators. Youths accused, alleged and/or found guilty of offensive, delinquent, and criminal behaviors are enrolled in the program (JJB, 1999).

Comparisons: Goals, Objectives and Core Beliefs

Goals, objectives and core beliefs at the two juvenile programs in Washington, D.C, aimed at ensuring members of the public are safe. Youths arrested and presented to a judicial process for offending the public are incarcerated in the programs. The programs utilize a comprehensive tracking system aimed at ensuring the youths maintain public safety. The tracking system also ensures they appear and attend to their judicial tasks in time.

Different and diverse interventions are applied at the two programs. However, they are applied to demonstrate the importance of maintaining and sustaining community-based measures and approaches. These measures and approaches are applied as interventions to reduce delinquent behaviors among the youth promoting peace and security in the community. The programs operate under the one main core belief. They both believe that a youth alleged of delinquent behavior should not be rejected from joining the multilevel intervention measures

Youths alleged of delinquent behaviors and accepted at the two programs are firstly interviewed and assessed. These tests are undertaken to determine various issues likely to affect the level of success in transforming the youth. The interviews identify past delinquent behaviors and conducts. This helps to determine the particular support services applicable to help the youth during their tenure in the program. Consequently, a comprehensive community-based treatment plan is developed and implemented. The treatment plan addresses social backgrounds and offenses committed or alleged. Consequently, it formulates possible and applicable recommendations to facilitate treating a youth before releasing him/her back to the community. However, youths are only released back to the society after being certified as healed and reformed. After the release, both programs assign a supervisor to monitor the youth’s behaviors and social conducts. This helps to reduce and prevent youths from relapsing and engaging in more delinquent behaviors hindering public safety.

Juvenile diversion programs are established to assist, heal, treat, and reform delinquent youths. Based on the two programs in Washington, D.C., the key participants are mainly the youth. However, offenders and victims are required to contact their family members, guardians, and friends for support and encouragement. They offer residential and in-community services among others. These services assess the participants’ backgrounds and monitor the youths on a weekly basis. Community resources, referrals, staffs, volunteers, and even victims present at the programs are utilized to assist the enrolled participants to complete their courses (Peter, 2008).

Focusing on the two juvenile diversion programs in Washington, D.C, they are both effective and efficient at reducing juvenile crimes in the society. Firstly, they both undertake similar program plans and courses. Secondly, they ensure they employ skilled, qualified, experienced, and willing staffs as well as volunteers. Thirdly, they commit community-based resources into the programs to ensure the enrolled youths are treated and reformed members of the society. Lastly, they share a common core belief in achieving and sustaining public safety in the community.

The services offered in juvenile diversion programs are effective at reducing delinquent and criminal behaviors among the youth. They develop youths positively while enabling and fostering resilient transitions and transformations (Alina, 2010).  A truancy prevention service aims to promote school attendance and attachment maximizing educational success. Outreach and advocacy services intervene, prevent, and reduce a number of youths from engaging in juvenile crimes. Ultimately, juvenile diversion programs have played a vital role in reducing crime rates in the society. More so, they prevent the youth from engaging in risky, unethical, and delinquent behaviors. Young girls are protected from teenage pregnancies and early childbirth. Conversely, boys are protected from alcohol, drug, and substance abuse. Altogether, they are protected from falling out of school, being homeless, and leading unfulfilling lives (David, 2012).


Alina, S. (2010). Preventive Juvenile Delinquency: Early Intervention and Comprehensiveness as Critical Factors, The International Student Journal, 2(2), 1-3.

David, H. (2012). Youth Affairs, Hawaii, Department of Human Services Report. 

Juvenile Justice Bulleting (JJB). (1999). Diversion Programs: An Overview, Detention Diversion Advocacy Evaluation Report.

Peter, G. (2008). Prevention and Intervention Program for Juvenile Offenders, The Future of Children Report, 18(2), 185-210.