Youth Services consists of a team of Juvenile Case Managers and Associate Case Managers that provide sentencing recommendations, assessment, referral, and educational sessions to youth between the ages of 10-16 who are charged with a Class C Misdemeanor Offense.
The goal of the program is to hold youth accountable for their actions and reduce the likelihood of future interaction with the criminal justice system. The Youth Services team is available to assist juveniles and their families with understanding what they need to do to comply with court orders and/or program requirements.
Youth Services works with community organizations in Austin to provide referral services that are specific to the needs of a juvenile and their family. We also partner with agencies that provide suitable settings for juveniles to perform court ordered community service.
Youth Diversion Program
The purpose of the Youth Diversion program is to deter youth from the criminal justice system. Participants that successfully complete this program will not have their case filled with the court. Completion of the program will not eliminate existing criminal records created from previous convictions.
The Diversion Program is not an option for traffic or parking offenses. All other offenses are reviewed by a prosecutor to determine eligibility for the program. Participation in the program may not be an option for a juvenile and is dependent on the nature of the offense and previous criminal history. Eligible participants will be contacted by phone, before the court date listed on the citation.
Participants are required to attend orientation and an assessment with their parent or guardian and comply with the program requirements of the prosecutor and case manager. Requirements typically include completion of a class or program, community service, and compliance with school attendance policy.
A juvenile and parent/guardian who choose to contest the case have the right to proceed to trial and decline participation in the program.
Teen Court is an alternative sentencing program that provides juvenile offenders the option to have their case tried by a mock jury of their teen peers and the opportunity to gain an understanding of the role of a judge, prosecutor and jury. If eligible, participants must also have permission from their parent or guardian. Participants must comply with the sentencing recommendations from the mock jury, as ordered by a judge.
Requirements typically include participation as a jury member for future mock trials and completion of community service hours. Successful completion of the program will result in case dismissal.
Local youth who are interested in learning more about their civic duty as jurors may participate as volunteer jurors. Experienced jurors may fulfill the role of prosecutor. Please contact Youth Services for more information.
Youth Services offers several court ordered classes at no cost to participants. Class participation is restricted to juveniles cited for an offense filed or diverted with Austin Municipal Court. All classes are offered at Austin Municipal Court’s downtown location.
The curfew class focuses on educating participants about what is required of them to be in compliance with curfew law, differences between curfew and truancy violations and potential negative life choice consequences of violating the law. An emphasis on compliance with the law to stay safe is made using relevant video and other media. The curfew class is generally offered twice a month and is 1.5 hours in length.
Traffic Safety is recommended for juveniles cited for driving without a license or failure to maintain financial responsibility (no insurance). Class content includes a discussion of the potential consequences of driving without a license and/or insurance as well as not complying with court order. The presentation includes relevant media and video of teen driving incidents. Time is allotted to provide information on how to obtain a driver’s license. Parents are encouraged to attend the class with their child. The class is generally offered every other month and is 1.5 hours in length.
Alive at 25
Alive at 25 is a traffic safety course developed by the National Safety Council for young drivers. The program focuses on driving behavior and good decision making skills while behind the wheel. The class is interactive and multiple forms of media are used to keep participants engaged. The class is offered twice a month and is 4 hours in length.
The theft class is appropriate for youth cited for Class C Misdemeanor theft. The class content is based on trends related to theft we commonly see with juvenile theft filings in our Court. Participants are provided with tools to identify and respond to negative peer pressure, the tradeoffs of short term gain and long term negative consequence and, for those who have stolen something to meet a basic need, assistance with connections to resources in the community. The class is offered once a month and is 2 hours in length.