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Adolescent Diversion Parts (ADP)


Overview

Each year across New York State, between 40,000 and 50,000 young people ages 16 and 17 are arrested and processed as adults in the criminal justice system. These young people face criminal convictions that could affect their future ability to gain employment, complete their education, obtain housing and pursue a range of other important life goals.

The Adolescent Diversion Parts are designed to improve the way the criminal justice system treats 16 and 17 year old teenagers charged with non-violent offenses in criminal court. They emphasize court outcomes designed to help these young people avoid the legal and collateral consequences associated with conviction and link them with the assistance they need to pursue law-abiding, productive futures.

The pilot program involves courts in nine (9) counties - Bronx, Erie, Kings, Onondaga, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Queens, and Westchester Counties.

Under the program, participating judges have access to youth-specific sentencing options, generally consisting of short-term social service interventions, as well as community service. This could include sessions devoted to conflict resolution, civic responsibility, and vocational and educational goal setting. Wherever possible, sentencing decisions will be informed by a brief assessment.

Interventions will, in most cases, be intended to build concrete life skills and promote personal accountability. Services will be age-appropriate and address the unique emotional and developmental needs of adolescents. Similarly, community service projects will target conduct associated with youthful transgressions, such as graffiti, fare evasion and trespass. Compliance with court-imposed conditions will be monitored by program staff with the cases of non-compliant defendants returned to court for further action. In general, the program would seek to use short-term interventions as a springboard to voluntary engagement in longer-term services.

Through April 29, 2013, 3,317 adolescents have been diverted to the nine pilot parts.

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Contact Info

For further information on Problem-Solving Courts or if you would like to schedule a court visit, please contact the Office of Policy and Planning at ProblemSolving@nycourts.gov