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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 FWSN Board (Families With Service Needs)

Families with children who are engaging in risky behaviors such as running away from home, school truancy, and defiance of family or school rules often rely on state operated programs to help address these problems. The state of Connecticut has defined such children and parents as a 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 the first 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 has developed a Family with Service Needs (FWSN) Review Board. The purpose of the Board is to intervene and divert at risk children from the entering the court system. The Board will recommend diversions that encourage positive, pro-social development, school attendance, family engagement and participation in community-based programs. The Norwich Public School is the gatekeeper for this program.  A case manager works with every youth referred to achieve their goals.

The Norwich Free Academy FWSN Board

The Norwich Free Academy has instituted a FWSN Board for its older high school age youth following the above model.

Summer Jam and Learn” Diversion Collaborative

Six week summer program aimed  at risk youth ages 9-14, with the goal of increasing prosocial skills, improving self-confidence, increasing positive engagement in the community and preventing re-referral to the JJA.

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