HISTORY OF JUVENILE DIVERSION IN THE BEACH CITIES
The city of Manhattan Beach first launched its juvenile diversion program in 2012. Since then, the program has provided an opportunity for more than 400 young people to redirect their futures towards a purposeful path rather than entering the juvenile justice system. The long-term impact of the Manhattan Beach program is significant, with only a handful of cases of recidivism recorded.
In 2019, Beach Cities Health District partnered with the City of Manhattan Beach to continue the program and explore an expansion to the neighboring beach cities of Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. Since then, more than 100 additional young people have entered the program.
In 2020, a consortium was established to create the Beach Cities Juvenile Diversion Project – a collaboration between local law enforcement, school districts and Beach Cities Health District.
WHAT IS JUVENILE DIVERSION?
Juvenile diversion is a restorative process that redirects a young person to a purposeful path, rather than entering the juvenile justice system. This diversion can be crucial to achieving lifelong success. In the absence of diversion, there can be compounding consequences for young people including increased risk of high school dropout, barriers to accessing college, trauma, substance abuse and other negative outcomes.1 Juvenile diversion requires that offenders learn about the harm they have caused, make amends for their behavior, accept (and actively participate) in their punishment and develop a stronger moral compass going forward.
When a diversion program is implemented effectively, it can prevent long-term involvement in the justice system and the associated damage to health and well-being, while also improving public safety and reducing system costs.
HOW DOES THE JUVENILE DIVERSION PROJECT WORK IN THE BEACH CITIES?
Beach Cities Juvenile Diversion Project is a pre-arrest intervention. When a youth makes contact with law enforcement, school resource officer or school administrator after an infraction, code violation, misdemeanor or felony, they may be diverted to prevent further justice system involvement. Juvenile Diversion Project staff conducts intake assessment, develops individual diversion and development plan and links youth to services which may include:
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Mental health counseling
- Enrichment activities
- Trauma-responsive preventive services
- Credible mentorship
- Family engagement and support
- Empathy-based community service
View the Beach Cities Juvenile Diversion Project flyer here.
For more information, please contact Nicole Lunde, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Health Equity Case Study Schooley, T. 2017. Youth Diversion in Los Angeles County: Advancing Evidence—Informed Policy to Improve Youth Outcomes
Report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors by the Countywide Criminal Justice Coordination Committee Youth Diversion Subcommittee & the Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office
Research & Resources\A Roadmap for Advancing Youth Diversion in Los Angeles County.pdf
Restorative Justice One-Pager- an introduction to restorative justice, successful characteristics of successful restorative practices and the pillars of restorative justice
Research & Resources\Restorative-Justice-One-Pager_Dignity in Schools.pdf
LA County Office of Youth Diversion and Development
Human Impact Partners. June 2017. Reducing Youth Arrests Keeps Kids Healthy and Successful: A Health Analysis of Youth Arrest in Michigan. Human Impact Partners, Oakland, CA
Research & Resources\HIP_MichYouthArrests_2017.06.pdf
Juvenile Diversion Strategies and Models, Collaborative for Change, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice https://jjie.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Juvenile-Diversion-Strategies-and-Models.pdf
Seeking support for youth substance use, mental health or other wellness concerns? Explore Resources & Referrals available through Beach Cities Health District: www.bchd.org/resources
1 Schooley, T. 2017. Youth Diversion in Los Angeles County: Advancing Evidence--Informed Policy to Improve Youth Outcomes.