When teens face allegations involving juvenile crimes, most parents immediately become anxious about the outcome of the case. Depending upon the nature of the alleged crime, jail time may be one of many consequences if a conviction occurs.

For worried parents, time behind bars is the worst possible outcome for their kids. Jails house many different types of alleged criminals, most of whom are adults. As you might expect, no parent wants their teens mixing with older individuals accused of serious crimes. In some Massachusetts counties, a diversion program may be the answer parents and juveniles need.

The state’s diversion program for kids alleged to have engaged in juvenile crimes can keep youths out of jail. In turn, avoiding time behind bars may put your kids on a better path toward the future. The counties in which diversion is an option at this time include. You will find the diversion program requirements in the following section.

  • The alleged crime must have occurred in Dukes, Barnstable or Nantucket County.
  • The youth must be between the ages of 12 and 18 years.
  • The youth must be a first time offender.
  • Only certain juvenile crimes are eligible for diversion.
  • Examples of eligible crimes include shoplifting, disorderly conduct and trespassing.

As more juvenile courts recognize the benefits of diversion instead of jail time, other counties in the state may one day offer similar programs. If your youth is facing charges revolving around juvenile crimes, it is wise to ask an attorney about alternatives to incarceration. Taking immediate defensive action is one of the most effective ways to steer your children toward a bright, crime-free future.