Juvenile Justice

The State Attorney’s Office Juvenile Diversion Programs, also known as Youth Offender Programs, consist of both prevention and intervention strategies. These programs are intended to give youth and families every resource available to assist them in becoming a productive citizen.

Traditionally, prevention seeks out certain identified factors that research has determined can potentially lead to delinquency. Examples of such factors could be a history of childhood abuse, truancy, instability in the home and educational underachievement.

Intervention strategies are initiated for delinquent youth who have been identified as having a greater risk of re-offending. These youth have entered the juvenile justice system by way of arrest or Sheriff’s Office referral, and are referred to a program designed to educate, punish, and prevent further criminal involvement

Programs

Youthful Offender Program (YOP)

The Youthful Offender Program is designed for qualified first-time juvenile offenders. Juveniles and their parents participate in a hearing that is conducted by specially trained hearing officers.

During the hearing, sanctions are assigned that render speedy justice and encourage the youth to think about the consequences of their actions. This program can typically be completed in 90 days and charges are dismissed upon completion. 

Helping At-Risk Kids (HARK)

The Helping At-Risk Kids program is for juveniles who perpetrate or witness domestic violence. The program is administrated by Hubbard House as a condition of diversion or probation.

Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program (JDAP)

The Juvenile Diversion Alternative Program works with Bay Area Youth Services for youthful offenders who appear to be a risk of becoming serious and chronic offenders. Youth sent to this program have high-risk factors and the State Attorney’s Office seeks more intensive supervision and programming as a means for diversion.

Jailed Juvenile Mentor Program

The Jailed Juvenile Program is a collaborative effort among the State Attorney’s Office, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jailed Juvenile Mentor Program, Communities In Schools, the Duval County School Board, Learn To Read and the Department of Corrections.  

Sending juveniles to adult court is reserved for only the most serious juvenile offenders. When a juvenile has been sent to adult court, these agencies work together to provide a broad spectrum of services. Once a juvenile has been released to the community, these agencies and mentors continue to play an active role in the youth’s life to assist with their transition back to school and finding employment. Services provided by the State Attorney’s Office include mentoring, appropriate intervention, and assistance to find employment and education are critical components of rehabilitation.

Juvenile Drug Court

Juvenile Drug Court is a diversion program that addresses criminal activity that is driven by substance abuse. Juveniles participate in a multi-phased treatment program and have regular status hearings before a Judge.

Peer Impact Panels

The Peer Impact Panel is an alcohol awareness program for juveniles sponsored by the State Attorney’s Office, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

Students hear from families of victims killed in alcohol-related accidents and juveniles prosecuted in alcohol-related traffic deaths.

Program for At-Risk Students (PAS)

The Program for At-Risk Students is a multifaceted educational program designed to educate at-risk students not currently in the juvenile justice system about the importance of staying in school and the consequences of criminal behavior. It is a collaborative effort among the State Attorney’s Office, Duval County Public School system and other juvenile justice agencies.

Turning Point: Re-Thinking Violence

Turning Point: Re-Thinking Violence is a unique collaboration with UF Health Jacksonville,  the State Attorney’s Office, and Compassionate Families for youth who have committed a violent crime. Violent juvenile offenders participate in a six-week program where offenders take part in learning about conflict resolution and anger management.

Victim Impact Panels

Victim Impact Panels are a collaborative effort among Compassionate Families, the Duval County Public Schools system and the State Attorney’s Office. Panels are offered to all of our middle and high schools in Duval County. Victims share the impact that crime — especially violent crime — has had on their lives as a way to teach students. 

Youth Crisis Center (YCC)

The Youth Crisis Center provides short- and long-term housing and counseling for at-risk teens and young adults. The focus is on providing a safe haven for youth who have aged out of the foster care system or have been displaced from their homes for their own protection. The program’s goal is to help youth transition from an unstable adolescence to a productive adulthood.

7 Habits for Successful Families

An interactive workshop that trains families on how to better work together. With the support of Fresh Ministries, this program strengthens and encourages positive family support and active parental/guardian participation in the daily lives of core-city children.