There are two different areas of casework services: diversion and community probation.
Diversion (No Formal Court Action)
- The Juvenile Diversion program is established by statute (MCL 722.821) and is intended to handle misdemeanor offenses.
- Diversion is typically utilized for first-time offenders who have been charged with misdemeanor offenses and who do not present a serious risk to public safety.
- The Diversion program is voluntary on the part of the juvenile and the juvenile's parents. Successful completion of the Diversion program results in the juvenile having no formal or public record with the Court. The juvenile's court file is destroyed within 28 days of the juvenile's 17th birthday.
- The focus of Diversion is to keep children out of the juvenile justice system by affording them the opportunity to voluntarily take responsibility for offending vehavior, participate in services, and reintegrate themselves back into their communities with little court involvement.
Community Probation (Formal Court Action)
Community Probation is a core service provided by the Family Court to reduce recidivism by rehabilitating the juvenile to prevent further delinquent behavior. A juvenile may be placed on community probation after having been adjudicated of an offense (either by plea or trial) and then ordered into the probation program at disposition. Juveniles who are placed on probation must follow the terms of probation, as well as complete a detailed treatment plan, before being discharged. When a juvenile is placed on probation he or she is under Court jurisdiction for the duration of the probationary period and will be supervised by a probation officer who will:
- Provide weekly contact and supervision
- Formulate a set of specific, attainable goals for each child as a part of a detailed treatment plan
- Ensure compliance with court orders
- Provide case management services within the community
- Monitor any placements that may be needed
- Provide ongoing assessment and progress with the treatment plan
- Collaborate and communicate with other agencies to provide needed services
- Become a school liaison for the juvenile
It is important to note that a juvenile who is placed on probation will have a formal, public record of his/her delinquency offenses. In order for this record to be expunged, the juvenile must take affirmative steps to have the adjudication(s) set aside.