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    Youthful Offender Diversion Alternative
    Paper cutout of a family

    About the Youthful Offender Diversion Alternative (YODA) Program

    YODA is an alternative to standard pre-trial diversion programs for family assaults presented in Criminal Court No. 5. This program provides counseling and case management to youthful offenders aged 17-25, who have been arrested for assault against a non-intimate family member (defined as blood relative, related by marriage or intimate relationship with another family member). The program is managed and the services are provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has specialty training in trauma and abuse. Through counseling and case management, the hope is that solutions and skills development will address the contributing factors and circumstances that led to the arresting incident.  Through case management services in collaboration with outside agencies, defendants are given an opportunity to stabilize their lives and gain access to resources that can encourage further development. This is a strengths-based and solutions-oriented program; whereby, defendants will establish goals to help them move their lives away from future criminality and violence. Based on the efforts made by defendants to change and promote better trajectories in their lives, a charge dismissal may be earned.

    Eligibility:  
    •    First time offenders only (individuals with past juvenile charges may be considered on a case by case basis)
    •    Ages 17-25 at time of enrollment into program
    •    Cannot be on probation/parole
    •    Cannot have other pending charges
    •    Cannot have any pending felony charges or convictions of felony charges

    Must be:
    o    Willing to make changes in their lives and participate in counseling-which includes providing input, feedback and disclosing personal information;
    o    Willing to adhere to the attendance policy and participation rules; and
    o    Willing to be drug-free and sober

    Fees: There is currently no charge to participate in the YODA program.  However, there is mandatory random drug test, which the defendant is required to pay.

     

    For questions about admittance into the program, please contact Debra Bezner at 817-884-2647