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It is important that both the juvenile as well as at least one parent/legal guardian be present for the initial meeting with Diversion. While this is the minimum, we encourage both parents/guardians to be present as this meeting covers not only the conditions, rules, and requirements of Diversion, but also serves as an important opportunity for us to meet you and begin to establish a rapport with you and your family. We do ask that young children are not brought to the meeting as it typically lasts for about an hour.
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In most cases, a juvenile who successfully completes the Diversion program will not have any formal Court record. However, if a police report was generated, both the Police Department as well as the Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will have records of the juvenile’s involvement in the case. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office also maintains records of the juvenile’s participation in the Diversion program.
No information concerning a juvenile’s participation in the Diversion program is made public. Diversion records are confidential and are not disseminated to other entities. As a component of supervision Diversion Officers do confirm and discuss a juvenile’s attendance and progress with school personnel and law enforcement. Additionally, with consent from parents/legal guardians, Diversion Officers also discuss cases with counsellors, therapists, and other treatment providers in order to monitor compliance with the conditions of Diversion.
There are no travel restrictions for juveniles on Diversion. All conditions continue to apply to juveniles travelling out of state including the requirement to check in with their Diversion Officer on a weekly basis. Juveniles on Diversion who have been travelling may be required to take a drug and alcohol test upon their return.
Diversion does not provide any referrals to any specific community service sites. Community Service work must be performed with/for a non-profit organization, however Diversion accepts hours worked for ANY non-profit in the community. Options include churches, senior centers, community centers, libraries, schools, parks and recreation departments, the humane society, thrift stores, and social service providers. Working for a private employer/business for no wages does NOT constitute community service.
Being on Diversion does not, in and of itself, specifically prohibit a juvenile from obtaining their Driver’s License. However, in rare cases, a juvenile’s ability to drive may be impacted by conditions of Diversion specific to their case when appropriate. In the event that a particular juvenile has a restriction or is otherwise prohibited from obtaining their license as a part of a separate Court order or condition, the juvenile will need to address this situation with the appropriate legal authority.
There is no condition of Diversion that specifically prohibits a juvenile from seeking, obtaining, or maintaining employment, and in general juveniles who have the permission of their parent/legal guardian to have a job will be encouraged to do so as there are many positive benefits to being employed. It is also important to realize that a juvenile on Diversion is responsible to pay certain fees and may have restitution; having a way to earn money in an appropriate fashion is a great way for the juvenile to both take responsibility for their situation and also experience the sense of empowerment and other pro-social benefits that come with gainful employment. However, employment must be appropriate and cannot interfere with the juvenile successfully completing the conditions of Diversion.
Kootenai County Juvenile Diversion offers a number of groups and programs, some of which are open to participation for juveniles in the community who are not involved in the juvenile justice system. Primary among these programs is the Project Towards No Drug Abuse prevention program. Kootenai County Juvenile Diversion takes juveniles from the community for involvement in these programs through referral from schools, law enforcement, community organizations, and in some cases by direct referral from the parent. If you are interested in learning more about these programs and the opportunity for juveniles to participate in these programs please contact Kootenai County Juvenile Diversion at 208-446-1970.