The Juvenile Diversion Program was established by the Springfield Township Police Department to provide an alternative for handling youthful offenders rather than referring them to the juvenile court system. The program permits the Police Department to work directly with the juvenile and his or her parents and with other agencies to zero in on the factors causing the behavior that brought the juvenile to the attention of the police.
Eligibility for Referral
Generally, juveniles who commit minor offenses and who have not had previous contact with the Juvenile Court system are eligible for referral to the Community Youth Division (CYD’s) Juvenile Diversion Program. The decision to refer a juvenile to the Diversion Program or to the juvenile court system is made by a CYD officer on the basis of guidelines established by the Police Department and Summit County Juvenile Court.
A juvenile who is referred to the Diversion Program must attend a hearing at the Springfield Township Police Department. At that hearing, the CYD officer will advise the parents that the matter is being heard unofficially and informally and that in order for the hearing to continue, they must give their consent. If consent is not given, the matter will be referred to the Juvenile Court on an official complaint for an official hearing.
In agreeing to participate in the Diversion Program, parents and juveniles agree to meet all the requirements of the program. Requirements will include adherence to the Juvenile Diversion Contract. Failure to follow the contract will result in a referral of the case to the Summit County Juvenile Court.
Walk-ins are also considered when parents need help providing the proper information to their child. All juveniles are placed on a 90-day minimum contract that is closely monitored and given effective logical consequences to abide.
The diversion hearing does not establish a juvenile record for the child and is confidential. Upon successfully completing the program the Springfield Township Police Department prepares a request to seal and expunge the record of the juvenile involved. The request is then sent to the Juvenile Court.