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community programs

This page lists community programs, such as District Attorney Truancy Abatement and the Prevention and Early Intervention Diversion Program.

The following programs exist to help children and families in our community.

  1. Prevention and Early Intervention Diversion Program
  2. Victim-Offender Mediation Program
  3. District Attorney Truancy Abatement
  4. Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc. (F.L.Y.)
  5. Project YEA (Youth Educational Advocates)

Also see our pages on Special Courts for Minors and Programs for Released Minors.

  1. Prevention and Early Intervention Diversion Program

    Juvenile Probation Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) may informally resolve all non traffic infractions and misdemeanor cases that do not involve alcohol, domestic violence or restitution over $1,000. This is a diversion program for low level offenders designed to keep your child out to the Juvenile Court system. This program enables your child to have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and receive services from community based organizations. These services include prevention, assessment, early intervention, and diversion programs to all areas of the county and targets at risk and low-level youth referred by police agencies. PEI seeks to address youth’s needs and refer for appropriate services at the earliest stage possible to lower risk of reoffending. Phone: (408) 278-5840 

    Traffic Infractions cited to juveniles will go to Adult Traffic Court. For further information, visit our Self-Help Traffic page.

  2. Victim-Offender Mediation Program

    This program brings together victims and minors who commit crimes. Both the victims and offenders must agree to meet and discuss the impact of the crime on the victim and society. This gives the victim a chance to meet the minor face to face. The minor gets to see how they have affected the victim. The program also helps with family mediation and parent-teen conferences. The program is run through the County Office of Human Relations and referrals can be made through the Probation Department or the Victim Services Program.

  3. District Attorney Truancy Abatement

    The DA’s Office started our truancy program in 1994. The school districts asked for help enforcing the education codes. The codes say that every student from 6 to 18 years old has to go to school every day and be on time.

    A truant is a student who:

    • Misses school more than 3 times without an excuse, or
    • Is more than 30 minutes late more than 3 times, or
    • Any combination of these two things.

    A habitual truant is a student who:

    • Misses school more than 6 times without an excuse, or
    • Is more than 30 minutes late more than 6 times, or
    • Any combination of these two things, and
    • The school tried to have at least one meeting with the student and their parent/guardian.

    The Truancy Program trains school district employees on how to help truant children. After they know what the problem is, the school meets with the family and minor. They try to solve the problem and help the family find help in the community.

    The school district and DA’s office try to identify the problem in elementary school. They want to stop a child from missing school before it becomes a habit. This can even be a problem as early as kindergarten and 1st grade.

    The Truancy Program also has mediation. The school asks families that need help to go to mediation. The Truancy Program Director and a panel of people from the community meet with several families. School officials from the families’ schools also go to the meeting to talk to the parents. They remind the parents they are legally responsible for sending their kids to school. And they tell them what will happen if they don’t follow the law.

    The community panel can direct the family to help in the community. The school officials from the minors’ school can meet with parents one on one at the end of the meeting. If the problem doesn’t get better, they send the parents to the School Attendance Review Board (SARB). SARB is made up of:  

    • School counselors
    • The Juvenile Probation Department
    • Community organizations
    • Law enforcement agencies, and
    • Health agencies

    The Board meets with families to figure out what is going on with the family. At the end of the meeting, the parents and children sign a contract with the school district. They will also tell the parents where they can get help in the community.

    If the parents don’t obey the SARB contract, they can be tried in court. But this is the last resort. What the community wants is to get the child to go to school. When nothing else works, the case goes to the District Attorney’s Office so charges can be filed against the parents.

    The DA charges the parents with breaking Section 48293 of the Education Code . This means they didn’t obey the law that says they have to send their children to school. This is an infraction. The case will be heard in the Juvenile Justice Department of the Superior Court.

    If the parents fight (contest) the charges, they can have a court trial. If they are found guilty, they can receive a fine of up to $500. They may have to take parenting classes. The judge can make the parents come back to court to make sure the minor is going to school.

    If parents don’t do what the court orders them to do, and if their child continues to miss school, the DA will file other, more serious, charges. The charge is called “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”. It is a misdemeanor. The case will be in the Criminal Court. If the parents are found guilty, they can receive a $2,500 fine and go to jail for 1 year. If the parents are placed on probation, the Court can order them to do certain things.

    If the student is in high school, the school district focuses on the minor. They can send the teen to the District Attorney Mediation or a SARB. If the student doesn’t return to school then the DA file charges and can keep the teen from getting a driver’s license for 1 year

    Click here for Truancy Brochures .

  4. Fresh Lifelines for Youth Program (F.L.Y.)

    Founded in 2000, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc. (FLY) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of violence, crime, and incarceration of teens. FLY operates in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda counties. FLY program participants are youth, ages 12-18 who are in incarcerated in the juvenile justice system, on probation, or have behavioral challenges putting them at high risk for systems entry. Through a unique combination of legal education, leadership training, and one-one-one mentoring, FLY provides with the motivation and support to stay out of trouble with the law, get engaged in school, and begin to change their lives.

    Probation officers, the Courts, school officials, community organizations and parents can support a youth in becoming a part of one of FLY’s programs. If you have any questions about how to get a youth involved with FLY, please call (408) 263-2630 . FLY’s headquarters and Santa Clara County program staff are located at the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits, 568 Valley Way, Milpitas, CA, 95035.

    • Law Program

      FLY’s semester-long legal education and life skills course teaches youth who are involved in or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system about the law and consequences of crime. Our nationally recognized law curriculum uses role-plays, debates, and mock trials to capture youth interest and foster the development life skills such as anger management, problem solving, empathy, and the ability to resist negative peer pressure. FLY’s Law Program encourages even the highest-risk youth to envision a positive future.

    • Leadership Training Program

      At the end of the Law Program, youth who need additional support to change their lives can join the Leadership Training Program. During the program year, youth complete a comprehensive assessment to identify their greatest barriers to living a crime-free, self-sufficient life. A FLY case manager/mentor then works with the youth to create and execute an individualized plan to address these barriers and build skills to sustain healthy behaviors. Youth also receive leadership training, which kicks off with a wilderness retreat that builds self-confidence, communication skills, collaboration, and positive peer relationships. Together youth in the program engage in pro-social activities and plan service learning projects where they discover how to build on and redirect their strengths as positive leaders.

    • Mentor Program

      The FLY Mentor Program links youth ages 14-18 who are involved in the juvenile justice system in Santa Clara County with trained, caring adult volunteers who support the youth in their development of new attitudes, behaviors, and ambitions. FLY mentors are often the first positive and healthy adults our youth have had in their lives. Through the program, youth learn to judge their choices and have a consistent sounding board and caring person in their life. As a result, they make better life decisions. A subset of FLY Mentors are Court Appointed Friend and Advocate (CAFA) Mentors. The CAFA program, piloted by FLY and the Probation Department, is committed to reducing the disproportionate probation failure rate of African American and Latino youth. In addition to providing one-on-one mentoring and support outside the courtroom, CAFA mentors are legally court appointed and trained to advocate for their mentees during the juvenile justice process.

    • Aftercare Program

      FLY’s Aftercare Program serves youth who are in long-term detention. While incarcerated, youth receive FLY’s legal education classes. Following their release, their legal education teachers become their case managers and work one-on-one with the youth for up to six months. Together, they create an individualized plan and set and achieve goals that will help the youth reintegrate successfully into their communities.

    • Middle School Program

      FLY’s Middle School Program helps at-risk youth in 7th and 8th grades focus on their academics and change their behavior such that they can successfully stay engaged in school and stay out of the juvenile justice system. The program includes age-appropriate law classes from FLY’s legal education program and case management for one-on-one support.

    • Youth Advisory Council

      In partnership with the Santa Clara County Probation Department, FLY is convening the first Youth Advisory Council in the county. The Council is comprised of past probation youth ages 17-21. FLY will train youth in policy reform and public speaking and will support their meaningful participation in decision-making processes that will influence criminal justice policies and practices throughout the county. We will eventually look to bring this model to other communities.

    • Education Navigator

      Education Navigator is a blend of case management, academic advisement, and personal coaching. Education Navigators support up to 32 youth by assessing the school situation, identifying their basic needs, connecting them to resources, providing educational advocacy, and assisting with post-secondary enrollment. Through these activities, the Education Navigator aims to re-engage youth in school, support them to graduate, and develop a post-secondary plan. This position is a co-located position with the majority of time spent in a school providing on-site support.
  5. Educational Rights Project: Youth Education Advocates (Project YEA)

    For more information, go the the County Counsel's Educational Rights Project  website.

    Kids with learning disabilities have problems growing up. 35% of them drop out of school and get in trouble within 2 years. 60% of teens in drug treatment have a learning disability. Half of the minors in detention can get special education. In the Santa Clara Juvenile Hall, 30% need special education. If they were all tested, probably another 20% would qualify.

    A lot of agencies joined together to start the Education Rights Project. The project gets special education for minors in the system. The goals of this project are to:
    • Train social workers and probation officers. And help them find the children who need special services.
    • Make sure that kids get tested for disabilities. And that they get the services they need.
    • Teach parents and other caregivers that they can ask to have their kids tested. They also teach them how to figure out what services they need.

    A big part of the Educational Rights Project is Project YEA. YEA helps parents and guardians by training people who help the parents get the best public education for their children. Project YEA will:

    • Check if a child can get special education and testing.
    • Meet with probation officers or social workers, the child and the parents.
    • Meet with the teachers and watch the child in school.
    • Go to the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting;
    • Help the child and their parents try to solve problems; and
    • Keep an eye on the child’s education plan. And make sure they are getting the services they need.
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