Despite your best efforts to raise your daughter or son with a thorough understanding of right and wrong, your child could end up in trouble with Pennsylvania law enforcement. Your child made a mistake and does not need firsthand experience of the justice system.

Youth.gov takes an in-depth look at diversion programs. They could be the ideal alternative for your son or daughter to address underlying issues without unnecessary punishment.

The fundamentals of diversion programs

At their roots, diversion programs combine support, programming and supervision to address the needs of juvenile offenders. Such a program could prove more beneficial than locking youths behind bars where they could face exposure to the very criminal element that can worsen delinquent tendencies.

Program structure

The main goal of diversion programs is to use communities as mediums to address various conditions and issues that drive juveniles to commit crimes. Sometimes, youths enter programs that meet special needs, such as substance abusers or individuals who have mental health conditions. Specific program services may include family counseling, crisis intervention and victim awareness activities.

How youths benefit from diversion programs

By helping your son or daughter get into a diversion program, you can help head off a legal disaster and the beginnings of an extensive criminal record. Further, you can enjoy more time with your child if she or he remains at home with you rather than locked away in a prison cell. Another advantage of diversion programs is that they are often less expensive when compared the price of going through the court system.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.