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Juvenile Court Diversion is an investment by state government in the juvenile courts to improve local programming for juvenile offenders and keep communities safe. It is designed to divert juveniles from commitment to the Division of Youth Services through early intervention.

Funds have been provided to juvenile courts to support a variety of local programming including intensive probation, detention alternatives, gang prevention and intervention, family therapy, sexual offender treatment, restitution, teen court, tutoring, and many other innovative services.

Juvenile Court Diversion was implemented in the late 1970’s as a grant-in-aid program to encourage development of services to youth at the local level while diverting at-risk youth from being committed to the Division of Youth Services. Approximately $3.8 million was expended in FY 2014 for Juvenile Court Diversion Programs.

Juvenile Court Diversion funds divert approximately 6,900 youth from commitment to state care each year. At a much-reduced cost to Missouri taxpayers, these programs provide local intervention services, allowing the courts to work with at-risk youth and their families in their home communities.