A program in partnership with the Pierce County Juvenile Court
If you received a Letter from Juvenile Court or Our Sister’s HouseIf you have received a letter indicating you have been referred to Diversion, this means a police report was sent to the local Prosecuting Attorney at Juvenile Court, alleging an unlawful offense was committed. The Prosecutor reviewed the police report and found facts sufficient to either charge the offense in formal court or send the case to Diversion.
What is Diversion?Diversion is a voluntary program and an “informal” and “confidential” for youth to take responsibility for their unlawful behavior without entrenching into the formal court system. Diversion is typically less time consuming and less expensive than the formal court system and records are destroyed when the young person turns 18 years of age.
What do people do in Diversion?Entering Diversion is agreeing to sign a contract outlining the “assignments” the youth has agreed to complete. Typically, “assignments” consist of one or two items for youth to engage in, such as counseling, a Positive Youth Development Program, writing an apology letter or essay, etc. Once the “assignment(s)” are complete, the Diversion is closed successful. Circumstances can change, so if the assignment needs to be changed, there is opportunity to work with your Diversion Team to amend the assignment. IF, the agreement is not completed, and there are no attempts to modify the agreement, the case may be returned to the Prosecutor for review to terminate the diversion and formally charge the case in Juvenile Court.
Why Our Sister’s HouseThe Pierce County Juvenile Court and Our Sisters’ House have partnered to create an innovative, culturally responsive, approach to Diversion for young people. It is clear that racial and gender disparities persist, particularly among Black communities and other communities of color in the justice system. OSH is a non-profit agency, deeply rooted in Pierce County with a long history of helping young people, their families, where and when they need it. They understand the needs of the community and want to work with families to deter a young person’s entrenchment the criminal justice system.
We are here to help you.
Black women only make up 8% of the population, however, 22% of all homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to black women, making it one of the leading causes of death for black women between the ages of 15 to 35.