Reduction of youth-related crime
Reduction of youth drop-out and/or truancy rate
Prevention of juvenile justice-involved youth runaways
Reduction of behaviors which may eventually lead to school suspension and expulsion
Reduce negative family dynamic situations
The San Mateo Police Department is committed to our youth and the desire to not unnecessarily introduce our youth into the juvenile justice system. We have learned, and statistics have shown that once youth are introduced into the juvenile justice system, they are more likely to be involved in future criminal activity as well as increase the likelihood of school truancy and drop-out.
The San Mateo Police Department has created a juvenile diversion program that targets youth ages 11-17 that have either committed a minor offense or seemed predestined to do so by current behavior. Referrals come from police, school officials and families and are screened by the San Mateo Police Department Juvenile Detective. Each youth’s contract will be individualized as to the youth and their family’s needs. The contract may consist of school attendance requirements, counseling for the youth and their family, utilization of outside resources such as medical or mental health professions and community service.
Using the tools the youth and family gain for improving the family dynamic, the outcomes are that the youth will stay in school, maintain or improve grades, resist pressure of gang recruitment, crime, malicious mischief, bullying, or other factors which caused the “at-risk” classification. The youth becomes interested in school and learns to plan for a positive future, both personally and professionally. Family members must also adhere to their commitments, improving the interaction of each family member to the others. The results have been extremely successful!