Benefits of Juvenile Court Diversion
New Hampshire is home to 17 Accredited Juvenile Court Diversion Programs that hold youth accountable for disruptive behavior while ensuring they benefit from education and support services to improve their behavior and not end up in juvenile court.
Statute NH RSA169 Delinquent Children-B:10 Juvenile Diversion includes provisions for Police and Courts to refer first-time offenders for diversion services. The law states: Prior to filing a delinquency petition with the court, the arresting agency or prosecutor shall screen the petition for participation in diversion.
Youth referred to accredited programs can expect to:
- Participate in an assessment to identify areas of strength and those needing assistance
- Include their parent or guardian in discussions about their well-being
- Meet with a panel of volunteers (some of whom may be teens) or staff members to discuss their case and develop a contract or written agreement
- Spend approximately three to six months working on goals outlined in their contract/agreement
- Attend educational classes or workshops included in the contract along with participating in community service and/or paying restitution
- Have their case closed with no juvenile court conviction, provided the contract is compete with no further offenses committe
A 2016 Recidivism Study of 444 youth diverted in 2012 showed:
- 78% of youth were arrest-free one year after program completion
- 58.3% of youth were arrest-free three years after program completion
New Hampshire also benefits from diversion services that are not yet accredited, referred to in RSA 169:B10 as “other intervention program or community resources”. These programs may be less formal and are often found within police departments or small towns.
If you are aware of a program that is not listed, please notify us through our Contact Page.
For more information on how to become accredited, please click here.