Juvenile Diversion

Office of the District Attorney, Ninth Judicial District, Juvenile Diversion Program

The Office of the District Attorney is committed to the health and well-being of the young people in our community. To that end, we believe that many low-level juvenile offenders do not belong in the juvenile justice system, and instead can be supervised with conditions tailored to give them the best chance to avoid future unlawful behavior as well as set them up for a positive future. Under Colorado Law one option available to our office is Diversion. Juvenile Diversion avoids a delinquency adjudication while requiring the juvenile to engage with education and treatment recommendations, pay restitution, perform useful public service, and/or engage in restorative justice practices. Juvenile Diversion eligibility is provided in compliance with § 19-2.5-402, C.R.S. Our eligibility criteria are similar. Criteria for the Ninth Judicial District Juvenile Diversion Program include:

• No charges are categorically excluded from consideration of diversion; acceptance depends on the level of the offense, the impact on the community, and the risk to the community posed by the Juvenile;
• Risk level as determined by the empirically validated criminogenic risk screening tool Arizona Risks and Needs Assessment (ARNA);
• Juvenile’s prior criminal history, including pending cases, current supervision, school disciplinary history;
• Victim input and the level of impact to the community;
• Ability of Diversion to mitigate criminogenic risks and support needs;
• The Juvenile’s acceptance of responsibility for the underlying problematic criminal behaviors without minimizations or victim-blaming,
• The Juvenile’s willingness to comply with Diversion Program requirements (attendance, no new offenses, Restorative Justice Practices, restitution payments, treatment goals, etc.)

The DA’s office will continue to make case by case decisions and exercise its legal discretion in evaluating eligibility criteria as appropriate. In the Ninth Judicial District, Juvenile Diversion is administered through YouthZone, who can be reached at 970-945-9300 and at Youthzone.com.