The Washington County Juvenile Court currently operates several diversion programs for both Delinquency and Family In Need of Services cases, including:
- Teen Court
- Hooked on Fishing Not On Drugs (HOFNOD) with the Outdoor Adventure Club
- Creating Lasting Family Connections (CLFC)
- Online Diversion Programs
Teen Court is a program coordinated by Scott Gage in which some juveniles charged with certain minor crimes are tried and convicted by their peers, instead of appearing in Juvenile Court in front of Judge Zimmerman. Teen Court only takes diverted delinquency cases referred by Juvenile Court Officers. In Teen Court, the "attorneys" as well as the "jury" are all juveniles. The sentences handed down are binding, and participants are required to carry out any and all sentencing recommendations. Law students, lawyers and other key individuals are often invited to serve as "judges" in Teen Court trials.
The Washington County Outdoor Adventure Club is partnered with Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs, a nationwide program sponsored by the Future Fisherman Foundation and the Game and Fish Commission. HOFNOD is designed to use fishing and outdoor recreation as positive alternatives to juveniles, while also facilitating family bonding. The Washington County Outdoor Adventure Club holds meetings and events once a month, in which court-involved juveniles and their families are exposed to new activities that involve the outdoors, including fishing, hiking and cave exploration, canoeing and kayaking, and many others. The Outdoor Adventure Club is led by Coach Jeff Courtway, the physical education teacher at JDC.
Creating Lasting Families Connections (CLFC) is a nationally acclaimed program that incorporates drug/alcohol prevention education and family communication skills, while also exploring thoughts, feelings, expectations, and consequences within the family. Classes are held in the evenings, and includes a break for dinner, which is provided. A parenting class coincides with the program, and parents are expected to attend. CLFC is taught in English and Spanish.
Online Diversion Programs are utilized by the Juvenile Court for some delinquency cases involving juveniles who have charges related to shoplifting, alcohol, or marijuana use. The alcohol and marijuana classes are offered through 3rd Millennium Classrooms, and the shoplifting class is coordinated through the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. There is a fee for these classes, consisting of $50 for the alcohol class, $60 for the marijuana class, and $75 for the shoplifting class. 3rd Millennium has also allowed the parents to take the same class as their children, at no additional cost.
For further information on the Washington County Juvenile Court's Diversion Programs, email Diversion Coordinator Lisa Billings.