Juvenile Justice/Diversion Programs

Juvenile Justice Alliance

The Juvenile Review Board

The JRB is an option for first time offenders who have committed non-serious juvenile offenses and are deemed appropriate by the police. After meeting the youth and hearing the case, the JRB will design and offer alternatives that are aimed at: 1) promoting responsible behavior by offenders and 2) solving problems that may be at the root of the delinquent behavior, 3) and where possible, take into consideration the needs of the victim. The Norwich police are the gatekeepers for this program. Every youth referred works with a case manager to achieve their goals.

The Norwich Youth and Family Support Team (Formerly known as Families With Service Needs Board)

At one time, the state of Connecticut had defined children demonstrating at-risk behavioral issues or truancy and their parents as Family with Service Needs (FWSN). Beginning in 2005, Connecticut began enacting a series of legislative, policy and procedural changes to address these issues. These changes were grounded in the belief that swift, community-based family services were the best approach for Families with Service Needs. The new approach to at-risk youth and families rejected the use of the justice system as a response to FWSN cases. The state developed a FWSN Advisory Board who concluded that providing programming to assist Families with Service Needs is critical because of the link between risky behaviors and future delinquency and crime. Research demonstrates that these behaviors are strong predictors of continued involvement with juvenile, criminal and child welfare agencies. Therefore, intervening with appropriate services at an early stage is crucial to reducing future involvement with the justice systems.

To that end, the Norwich Community developed a Family with Service Needs (FWSN) Review Board which is now referred to informally as the Family Support Team, primarily for middle school aged youth. The purpose of the Team is to intervene and divert at risk children from entering the court system. The Team will meet with students and their families to develop a plan of action that encourages positive, pro-social development, school attendance, family engagement and participation in community-based programs. Norwich Youth and Family Services is the gatekeeper for this program. A case manager works with every youth referred to achieve their goals. Referrals are made through the Norwich Public Schools. 

If you believe your family would benefit from this program, speak with your child's guidance counselor about making a referral. 

Summer Jam & Learn” Diversion Collaborative

This six week summer program works primarily with "at-risk" youth ages 10-14, The goal of the program is to increase pro-social skills, improve self-confidence, increase positive engagement in the community and prevent referral to the Juvenile Justice System.

Juvenile Justice Alliance Collaborators

Collaborators include:

  • Norwich Police Department, Norwich Public Schools, Waterford Juvenile Court, Norwich Fire Department, Norwich Free Academy, DCF, Uncas Health, United Community and Family Services and Natchaug Hospital