Three diversion programs active today in the state of Florida are the Juvenile Arbitration Program, Teen Court, and Neighborhood Accountability Boards. Diversion programs offer a system by which children who commit delinquent acts may be dealt with in a speedy and informal manner stressing the importance of good citizenship, personal integrity, and family communication (T.J.C., 2008). The aforementioned are major causes of juvenile delinquency. These programs' primary goal is to divert young people who have committed first time offenses from progressive involvement in the criminal justice system (T.J.C., 2008).
Juveniles are referred to the Arbitration Program by the State Attorney's Office or sanctioned to come by the judge (S.J.C., 2008). The Juvenile Arbitration Program's purpose is to schedule a meeting between the defendant, parent, and the victim with a juvenile diversion program case manager to discuss the offense and to devise a contract. At the end of arbitration a contract will be signed to include all the sanctions the defendant will need to complete (S.J.C.,
2008). Sanctions are assignments that are considered individually on a case by case basis. They can be given by community boards, case managers or Teen Court juries to help make amends to all the people affected by their behavior. Sanctions can also build their skills with anger management training, and address educational deficits with tutoring classes (S.J.C., 2008).
Effective sanctions used today in the state of Florida are: Community service work, victim/services restitution, counseling/referrals, substance abuse evaluations, school progress reports, restrictions, Teen Court jury duty, Shock programs, and drivers license/permit suspension (F.D.L.E., 2008). If the sanctions are completed, the victim is compensated, and the defendant avoids formal prosecution in juvenile court. Failure results in referral back to the Office of the State Attorney for prosecution (F.D.L.E., 2008).
The Juvenile Arbitration Program works to reduce...