Juvenile Diversion

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Juvenile Diversion

 

Cuming County Juvenile Diversion Office
200 S Lincoln St, Rm 51
West Point, NE 68788-1874

Addisen Johnson
Cuming County Diversion Coordinator
402-372-6010
diversion@cumingcounty.ne.gov

 

What is diversion?

Juvenile diversion is a program established in 2004 by the Juvenile Awareness Group designed to keep offenders out of the court system. It is based upon the belief that, in many instances, there is a more appropriate and beneficial way to prevent future offenses. If an offender successfully completes the program, the charges will be dropped and there will be no court record.

Youth may be eligible for diversion for an offense for each of the following offense categories:

  • MIP and/or drug related offenses
  • Assault offenses
  • Property offenses
  • Certain traffic offenses

The County Attorney must make a recommendation to the diversion program before application is considered. The County Attorney has the right to refuse or allow any individual for participation

 

Is diversion the same as probation?

No. You can only be placed on probation by the court after you have been found guilty of an offense.

 

Who is eligible for diversion?

To be eligible for diversion, youth must meet the following criteria:

  • No previous misdemeanor conviction for the same offense category.
  • No previous participation in the diversion program for the same offense category.
  • No previous felony conviction.
  • Accept responsibility for the offense.
  • Be willing to accept all of the terms and conditions of the diversion program.
  • Have not yet reached the age of 18 to participate in the (juvenile) diversion program.

 

How much does the diversion program cost?

The diversion program fee ranges from $50.00 to $300.00 depending on the nature of the offense, of which $25.00 will go to the Cuming County Law Enforcement Equipment Fund. In addition, you will be assessed a $50.00 non-resident fee if you reside outside of Cuming County. You will have to pay for any evaluations, counseling, classes, programs, or other services required by your diversion contract. You may also have to pay restitution.

 

How long am I in the diversion program?

Three months to one year depending on the nature of the offense.

 

How often can I be eligible for the diversion program?

An individual is eligible for the diversion program one time per offense category. An individual may not participate in diversion until at least 6 months has passed after the completion of any previous diversion program, subject to the discretion of the Diversion Coordinator to allow reentry.

 

What do I have to do in the diversion program?

In reality, the terms and conditions of the diversion program depend on the offense and the history of the individual. The Diversion Coordinator will discuss the specific terms and conditions of an individual’s program at the time the diversion contract is signed. Possible terms and conditions may include:

  • Obey all local, state and federal laws
  • Submit to a chemical test of blood, breath or urine
  • Alcohol/Drug Education Courses
  • Community service hours
  • Written apology
  • Written reports
  • Curfew
  • Defense Driving Course

 

What happens if I do not complete the program?

If you do not complete the program, your case will be returned to the County Attorney for prosecution.

 

What if I am arrested again while in the diversion program?

If you are arrested or charged for any offense while in the diversion program, you will not be able to complete the program until such offense has been resolved. If you plead guilty or are convicted of such offense, you will automatically be terminated from participation in the diversion program and your case will be returned to the County Attorney for prosecution. At the discretion of the Diversion Coordinator an arrest or charge for a new offense may be grounds for immediate termination from the diversion program.

 

What are some of the ways I could be dropped from the diversion program?

You may be removed from the diversion program by violating any term or conditions of the diversion contract.

 

What happens if I complete the diversion program?

No charges will be filed against you in court on this offense and you will have no court record.



JUVENILE AWARENESS GROUP (JAG)

What is JAG?
Juvenile Awareness Group (JAG) is a group of individuals from the community who meet to improve the quality of life for the youth in Cuming County through organized educational programming to deter them from the court system. JAG is made up of school officials, Region 4 Behavioral Health representatives, Elkhorn/Logan Valley Health Department representatives, mental health professionals, local Health and Human Services workers, clergy, law enforcement, county officials, parents and youth who meet once every other month in various locations in Cuming County.

JAG History
The Cuming County Juvenile Awareness Group was formed in 2004 to administer funds received by HHS (Health and Human Services) to provide services to county youth. The committee hired a part-time coordinator to oversee community service hours assigned by the court.

In 2005, JAG applied for a three-year grant to expand the program to include a youth diversion program. Through the youth diversion program, education is used to deter youth with minor criminal violations from behaviors that may eventually lead them deeper into the court system, thus saving tax dollars. After screening by the County Attorney, these youth are offered the diversion program instead of being processed through the court system. Youth who choose to accept the diversion program have their criminal record wiped clean to benefit them when applying for scholarships and advancing their careers.

Today, one-third of the diversion coordinator’s salary is paid by a renewing Nebraska Crime Commission Grant. The program not only saves tax dollars for citizens, but it also improves the lives of at-risk youth who commit a minor crime in Cuming County. Over the seven years of existence, JAG has not only created a diversion program, but it has also introduced TeamMates Mentoring Program and conducts various youth prevention programs and presentations in the County.

Major JAG Accomplishments

  • Ongoing Cuming County youth diversion program
  • Keep a Clear Mind Program – drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention program for 4th – 6th graders in the county.
  • TRAILS Program introduced to 3rd graders within Cuming County helps children develop resiliency traits that build a strong foundation for healthy habits and positive decision-making skills needed when confronted with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.
  • Save a Life Tour – Presentation involving a drug induced driving simulator for 7th – 12th grades.
  • Public Service Announcement contest for 9th – 12th grades – topics: cyber bullying, cyber safety, texting and driving, alcohol and drug prevention. Scholarships were given to improve the technology departments at the students’ schools.
  • Valley Hope, O’Neill, Nebraska, counselors’ presentation on drug and alcohol prevention.
  • Ron Brown presentation.
  • Nebraska State Patrol – roll over simulation and internet safety
  • Ongoing TeamMates Mentoring Program

How YOU Can Help

If you are concerned about youth in your area, volunteer to be a mentor or a JAG member by contacting:

Cuming County Juvenile Awareness Group
200 S Lincoln St., Rm 51/West Point, NE 68788

Youth volunteers are welcomed.
In-kind or case donations are also appreciated.


PREVENTION

Information, resources, training, and action on alcohol and drug issues

PARENTS – The Anti-Drug

Internet Safety Tips For Kids

Region 4 Behavioral Health Systems