The Need . . .
Daily we hear of a barrage of tragedies at the hands of juvenile violence and crime. One million young people under 18 years of age appear in juvenile courts for delinquency or status offenses each year. The Northern Star Juvenile Diversion Program was established in 1996 to encourage and guide these young people to become aware of the future and develop the necessary skills needed to succeed.
The Northern Star Juvenile Diversion Program is a pre-trial program for minors, conducted through the efforts of the Boy Scouts. The purpose of the program is to provide first-time youth offenders a positive alternative to juvenile court. Young offenders facing criminal charges will have the opportunity to participate in the program which, through structured activities, aims to improve attitudes about the legal system, self-image, teaching better methods of communication, conflict resolution and preventing a future decision to break the law.
The goal of the Northern Star Juvenile Diversion Program is to divert youth away from the court system, hold them accountable for their offense and to reduce the recidivism amongst these participants. The program boasts and outstanding success rate- 80% of the participants do not re-offend in subsequent years.
Who is Eligible . . .
Referrals to the program are made by local police departments. Participants must be between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. Other factors include; no prior criminal convictions, severity of the offense, facts sustaining proof of the alleged offense, and surrounding circumstances.