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 four ways that a youth can be referred to the Juvenile Review Board:
1. Resident State Trooper of the town in which the offense took place
2. By school administrators for defiance of rules or truancy
3. Parent for incorrigible behavior, or
4. Connecticut Court System
The parent/guardian(s) and the youth appear before the Juvenile Review Board where the case is reviewed and diversions are assigned. The youth has six months to complete the diversions which may 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.
The youth is assigned a case manager who supports the youth and family throughout the process, starting with obtaining a thorough social/emotional/educational history of the young person. For the next six months, the JRB Case Manager conducts regular check-ins with the youth at RHAM High School to make note of progress being made or provide additional support if progress is not being made. 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. The youth is responsible for completing the diversions assigned by the JRB.
At the end of the six months, a close-out meeting is scheduled. At this meeting, the case manager provides the JRB with documentation and observations of the youth as related to the assigned diversions. The JRB meets with the youth and family and discusses the past six months activity and what was learned from the diversionary process. The JRB then decides if the diversions were met with success or not.
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.