Diversion

Information about the Juvenile Diversion Program

Diversion

The Diversion Unit is obligated to inform the juvenile offender before entering into a diversion agreement, of the availability of free legal counsel, though the juvenile may seek legal assistance from any counsel of his/her choosing.

on 11/16/2014
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The goals and objectives of the Diversion Unit are:

 

  •  To hold the youth accountable for his or her offense(s)
  •  To foster change in the offender's attitudes and behaviors so that they conform to the law and community standards
  •  To impress upon the offender that the community is concerned with his or her conduct
  •  To increase the offender's awareness of the relationship between the offense committed and the people injured by the offense
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  Diversion
  •  All proceedings are confidential
  •  Case records are confidential
  •  Legal representation is not required
Juvenile Court

 

  •  All hearings are open to the public
  •  Court records are public information
  •  Numerous court appearances may be required
  •  Court fees and/or fines are usually assigned
  •  The parent/guardian may have to reimburse the court for the public defender and a private attorney may charge fees for representation
  •  The youth may be sentenced to community supervision (probation)
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Typically, these cases involve first or second time offenders, aged 8 to 17, who are alleged to have committed misdemeanor offenses such as shoplifting, being in possession of alcohol, minor assaults, malicious mischief and trespassing.

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In Cowlitz County these cases are typically handled on an individual basis by the juvenile department's Diversion Counselor.  After receipt of a police referral, the counselor contacts the parent/guardian and the child to set up an appointment.  This appointment is called a "diversion appointment" and the youth will be advised of his/her rights and will be given information about the diversion process.  The nature of the offense and a review of the police report will be discussed and the child will enter into a diversion contract if everyone is in agreement.

on 11/16/2014
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  A diversion agreement is a contract between the youth, his/her parent or guardian and the Juvenile Department which holds the youth accountable for the offense by:

  •  Assigning community service work to benefit the youth's community
  •  Requiring reimbursement to the victims
  •  Requiring attendance at informational/educational programs

 

The diversion counselor will also assist the family in finding needed services for the offender.

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Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) feature is an ongoing project. As we receive numerous questions on a particular issue, we try to add an answer to that question, so that you don't need to try and find someone to answer some of the more common questions we hear. It is available to the public 24 hours a day, unlike our staff. We don't expect this section to replace your ability to contact us with questions, nor do we expect that every question will be answered here.

If you are reading a divisional FAQ and want to go to the Full FAQ section, click HERE.

Credit for some of the answers you will find here go to the Northwest Justice Project, volunteer lawyers who have assisted us in adding information we think will be of assistance to you.

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