The purpose of the JRB is to divert youth from the juvenile court system. Research has documented that such diversions can help to enable youth to stay out of the juvenile court system and have potentially brighter futures than they otherwise would. For over 20 years, AHM has positively changed the lives of hundreds of RHAM High School students.
The AHM Juvenile Review Board serves as a template across the state for similar programs and is made of social workers, school administrators, Resident State Troopers, probation officers, a juvenile prosecutor, a representative from DCF and a representative from The Family Support Center. This highly dedicated group of people assists the youth and their families during difficult times.
The JRB process is as follows:
Youth referred to the Board must be under 18, accept responsibility for their actions, have no previous court or police involvement and not have committed a felony.
There are three ways that a youth can be referred to the Juvenile Review Board:
- A police officer may decide to divert someone rather than sending him/her to Juvenile Court
- The school can refer a student for consistent defiance of school rules or truancy
- Parents can refer their child for being out of control
The parent(s) of the referred youth appear before the Juvenile Review Board where the case is reviewed and diversions are assigned that the youth must complete. The diversions might include counseling, community service, improving grades, writing an essay, a drug assessment, improved behavior at school and/or at home or anything the JRB feels would be appropriate.
Each youth is assigned a Case Manager who supports the family throughout the process, starting with obtaining a thorough social/emotional/educational history of the young person. Over a period of usually six months, the JRB Case Manager does weekly check-ins with the youth at RHAM High School to make sure all is going well. If not, further discussion occurs with the JRB, and additional recommendations for better diversions may be made. The goal of these diversions is to help the youth learn how to make better decisions. The intent of this process is not punitive, but educational.
At the end of the process, the JRB meets and reviews the prior six months’ activity of youth and determines if the youth has successfully completed the diversions assigned.
The AHM Juvenile Review Board has a success rate of 90%. AHM is fortunate to be able to give this to our RHAM community because giving youth a second chance is very important as they navigate through their teen years.
If you would like further information regarding the Juvenile Review Board process, please contact the AHM office at 860-228-9488.