Juvenile Diversion Program

The primary objectives of Arcata Police Department’s Juvenile Diversion program are to reduce the number of youth in the Criminal Justice System and reduce dropout and expulsion rates in our Northern Humboldt area school districts. This is a voluntary program for youth who have committed a crime in the community or an offense on campus. Juvenile Diversion offers an alternative to probation, juvenile court or expulsion from school. Juvenile Diversion serves K-12th grade students and families in Arcata, McKinleyville, Trinidad, Samoa, and Blue Lake.

Intake Process

Youth are referred to Diversion by school administration or enforcement agencies such as Probation, Arcata Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office and Cal Poly Humboldt University Police. Referrals are primarily given to students who have committed a misdemeanor, infraction, or who are struggling with truancy.

The intake process consists of 2 initial meetings, one with the family and one with the youth 1-1. These meetings with the youth and family help assess the youth and family’s needs. An individualized contract is written based on the needs identified in the assessment.

The Contract

Contracts are designed to hold youth accountable but also provide support for the youth and families.  Contracts include regular check-ins with the youth and families for 3-6 months. Contract agreements may also include Accountability Counseling, Brief Intervention for drug and alcohol use, Teen Court, Community Service, and restitution.  Referrals may be made to higher levels of service such as Humboldt County’s Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Program, Humboldt County Mental Health, Remi Vista, Changing Tides, Evolve Youth Services, Two-Feathers and United Indian Health Services.

Working With Families

The Juvenile Diversion program concentrates on supporting both youth and families to work towards healthy goals. Parental involvement is a crucial step toward making the necessary changes in an adolescent’s life. We highly recommend families struggling with an at-risk or strong willed teen or youth take one of the Loving Solutions or Parent Project classes offered in the community.