Court Diversion Program

Diverting Area Youth from Juvenile Court

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We believe that a normal part of growing up involves testing limits and learning to make decisions. However, when those decisions are unsafe or against the law, young people need to be held accountable.

Not all teens need the power of the Court system to help them improve their choices, and that's where our Court Diversion Program gets involved -- as a community response that holds first-time juvenile offenders accountable for their actions. 

Juvenile officers from Nashua, Merrimack, Hollis, Hudson and Litchfield Police Departments forward arrest petitions for minor offenses to our program, and each youth must attend a specific hearing date with at least one parent.

During that time, they participate in a family assessment, a hearing before a panel of local teens and adult volunteers, and then receive a 3-month contract of consequences. Sample consequences may include:

  • restitution payments according to Police
  • written essays, apologies or reports
  • volunteering or working
  • attending structured programs
  • counseling or screenings for anger, substance use, and so forth
  • any other consequences recommended by the volunteer panel.
  • Youth attending for a shoplifting offense also attend STOPLIFTERS.

Three monthly check-ins ensure that Contracts of Consequences are completed. Police prosecute all youth whose contracts are incomplete.

We are pleased to report that in 2011-2012, 99% of the 108 teens served successfully completed the program and are diverted from juvenile court.

For more information please call (603) 889-1090.

Interested in volunteering for this program? 

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