Another approach to the legislature’s interest in creating alternative approaches to dealing with juvenile offenders that would still be handled via the state court’s system might be a mandatory, court-ordered educational program for juveniles who have been subject to police contact on a first offense. Create a policy proposal for a court-mandated course that would be delivered in a classroom setting for youths ages 12–14 with behavioral problems who are affecting the community—for example, in the schools, in neighborhoods, or in local businesses. Within your policy, incorporate your responses to the following questions:
Would this program be limited to juveniles who have been subject to police contact only for certain classes of offenses (e,g., non-violent, property-oriented, status offenses) with more serious offenses handled through a different approach?
Would these juveniles still “go through the system” (i.e., be arrested, have a court date for hearing) or would this be a diversion program intended in part to side-step these individuals having a record at such a young age? Explain.
How would the administrative office of the courts be involved in the running of this program? Explain.
Would it be conducted as part of the ADR “wing” of the office as is a program such as truancy mediation or victim-offender dialogue programs? Explain.
Where would the course be offered? Why?
What types of people would be considered qualified to conduct/facilitate it? Explain.
Are there staff adequately trained already, or would a position have to be opened and staff hired? Explain.
Although a complete curriculum would not be part of this proposal, what are the types of topics that would need to be covered?
Would the administrative office of the courts have any role in creating the actual content?
Would the office oversee creation of the content to ensure its consistency with current law and preferred practices in the state in question?
Are there any models out there that could be used that would allow creation of such a program with minimal cost and start-up time?
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