Juvenile Court currently operates numerous diversion programs. These programs are deterrent-focused programs, but are not limited to only diversion cases. Please contact Lisa Billings, Diversion Coordinator regarding any of the following Diversion Programs.
Teen Court only takes diverted criminal cases. Other programs offered to diverted and adjudicated juveniles and Families In Need Of Services (FINS), include the following:
- Marijuana 101
- Under the Influence
- Alcohol-Wise JV
- Youth Educational Shoplifting (YES)
The Aikido Agatsu (Victory Over Oneself) Program prevents at-risk juveniles and youth offenders from future and continued adverse encounters with law enforcement and the juvenile court system through martial arts training. The 10-week course improves self-esteem, respect for themselves and authority, provides positive youth and adult role models, and teaches effective self-defense and problem solving skills. The cost is $5 per week for each of the 10 weeks. The class is held at NWA Aikido in Springdale and instruction is provided by Jason Moreland, Sandan Aikikai (3rd degree black belt).
Aikido is a Japanese martial art founded in the early part of the 20th century and is ideally suited to the conflicts of today and our current lifestyles. It helps deal with stress, problems, and situations from multiple directions. Aikido differs from many other martial arts in that it stresses blending with an incoming attack rather than meeting aggression with aggression. The ultimate aim is to integrate the mind, body, and spirit and teaches us to bring ourselves into harmony with our own energy and the world around us.
Teen Court is a program coordinated by Scott Gage in which juveniles that have been charged with a crime are tried and convicted by their peers. The prosecuting attorney and defending attorney are both juveniles as well as the jury. The sentences handed down are binding, and students are required to carry out any and all sentencing. Law students, lawyers and other key individuals serve as judges in the trials.
The Juvenile Court and the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) teamed up to form the Washington County Outdoor Adventure Club which was paired with the very reputable nationwide program Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs. Jeff Courtway - who is the physical education teacher at the JDC - heads the program. HOFNOD is a nationwide program sponsored by the Future Fisherman Foundation. The Game and Fish Commission has incorporated the program into many middle schools throughout the state, though this will be the first for a juvenile court setting. The program endeavors to use fishing and outdoor recreation as a positive alternative to the current negative lifestyles the juveniles may be leading. The program also facilitates family bonding. The program is more of a club structure. The club holds meetings and events once a month, in which juveniles, along with their parents, are exposed to a new activity that involves the outdoors. Past meetings have included fishing derbies, hiking and cave exploration, water quality tests, canoeing and kayaking, and many others. We currently have about 30 kids enrolled, but plan to have more enrolled throughout the year. Membership is mandatory for up to 6 months if ordered by an officer, and the juveniles have the option of continuing in the club for up to one year. After that, they have the opportunity to become a student volunteer. The Outdoor Adventure Club has also adopted a stretch of stream on the west fork of the White River through the Stream Team in which juveniles keep clean and maintain a section of streams that are vital to our rivers and tributaries. The Stream Team is a national organization that focuses on maintaining local area streams through education and hands-on conservation projects.
The Creating Lasting Families Connection (CLFC) is a nationally acclaimed program. The CLFC course consists of three modules, each one being 4-5 sessions. CLFC incorporates drug/alcohol prevention, while also teaching communication skills, as well as exploring thoughts, feelings, expectations, and consequences. The class time in 6:00-7:30 p.m., and includes a break for dinner which is provided. A parenting class coincides with the program, and the parents of the children are expected to attend. CLFC is taught in English and Spanish.
There are also online programs for shoplifting, alcohol, and marijuana use. The alcohol and marijuana classes are done through 3rd Millennium Classrooms, and the shoplifting class is coordinated through the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. The alcohol class costs $50.00, the marijuana class costs $60.00, and the shoplifting class costs $75.00 Students who are charged with crimes relating to any of these three things are referred to a website in which they pay a fee and complete the required training. 3rd Millennium has also allowed the parents to take the same class as their children at no extra cost to them.