The Yavapai County Juvenile Court operates work crews in the Prescott Quad-City area, and in the Verde Valley area. Juveniles who are court ordered through probation or directed through the diversion program to complete community restitution hours can be assigned to the work crew. The juveniles work on community cleanup projects ranging from maintaining local parks to creating trails through the national forests. Juveniles work an eight-hour day starting at 8:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., breaking for lunch that they must provide for themselves.
The Yavapai County Juvenile Court, in conjunction with local businesses, provides juveniles who are court ordered to pay restitution the opportunity to work and receive payment that is then distributed as restitution to their victims. Juveniles are screened for participation, and if they meet the criteria, are assigned to an appropriate jobsite. This program offers juveniles’ job readiness training, teaches accountability, while repaying their victims.
The Yavapai County Juvenile Drug Court was developed to provide structure, supervision and treatment to juveniles with serious substance abuse issues. It is a program that is highly structured and constantly reviewed by the judge. A team made up of a judge, probation officer, drug court mentor, county attorney, and treatment providers meets to decide if the juvenile and his/her family are appropriate for participation in Drug Court. Participation in this program requires all parties involved to collaboratively work as a team with the juvenile and parents/guardians to begin and maintain sobriety. A juvenile participating in Drug Court is required to complete community restitution, treatment, and take frequent drug tests. Drug Court is held weekly.
L.E.A.P. is a Day Reporting Center used as an alternative to detention. This project is a collaborative effort involving the department’s Community Advisory Board (CAB), the Salvation Army and other community partners. The program provides resources and skills that will enrich the participant’s life by providing participants with a variety of academic, personal enrichment and other life skill activities to further help them in becoming well-rounded individuals. The juveniles who participate in L.E.A.P. show a lower likelihood of reoffending than juveniles who do not participate in L.E.A.P. Members of the community have shown support by volunteering to teach classes or life skills that enable the juveniles to meet people from all walks of life. Currently, L.E.A.P. is offered for both the Prescott Tri-City area and the Verde Valley. The program is held twice weekly from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., time that research indicates is critical for juveniles. Transportation to and from the program is provided.
Teen Court is a diversion program offered through the Yavapai County Juvenile Court. Diversion cases are handled in a court setting that consists of high school students serving as the attorneys, jury, bailiff, and three clerks. The high school students review the case, argue the points, and provide consequences for their peers. This program enables the juvenile to have a trial by his/her peers, and the high school students learn how a courtroom functions. Teen Court is offered as a diversion option for minor offenses and during the school year. High school students that participate in the program receive school credit. Teen Court is offered in the Prescott area.
The Yavapai County Juvenile Court utilizes electronic monitoring as an alternative to detention for selected juvenile offenders. Juveniles placed on GPS are held to a contract and strict schedule approved by their probation officer. The probation officer can track the movement of the GPS unit at any time and the unit will advise the system of any change in movement or location violations.
The RAC Crew is a weekday program where juveniles on probation will work under the supervision of juvenile court staff in a variety of Forest Service projects within the boundaries of thePrescottNational Forest. This is an open entry/open exit program. This program will accommodate five juveniles per day. Juveniles completing the day successfully will earn eight hours of Community Restitution credit.
The Yavapai County Juvenile Court, in collaboration with local schools, offers a Road Court which allows eighth grade students to attend and view the actual juvenile court process. Probation officers visit the classroom prior to the hearing dates and explain the court process and court etiquette. In between hearings, the Juvenile Court Judge, staff and attorneys will answer students’ questions. This program is designed to give more transparency to the juvenile court while providing students with insight into the real consequences of juvenile crime. Road Court is held both in the Verde Valley and in the Tri-City area on various dates throughout the year.