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Youth diversion program sees success in first year

Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13th, 2013

WATSONVILLE — A program to help first-time juvenile offenders become accountable for their actions and avoid further trouble saw major success during its first year, the organizers told the Watsonville City Council Tuesday.

Called "Caminos hacia el ้xito — Pathways to Success," the juvenile program offers alternatives to incarceration for youth offenders by diverting them through community service activities and providing support for them and their families.

The program is a collaboration between the Watsonville Police Department, Parks and Community Services — Neighborhood Services, Santa Cruz County Probation Department, Santa Cruz County Office of Education and Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance.

Of the 63 youth who enrolled in the program during the first year, 58 completed it, and 100 percent of those who finished the program remained free of second offenses, according to Sara Anderson, clinical supervisor of Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance.

Also impressive is the number of community service hours the youth put in, which totaled more than 1,400 during the first year, Anderson said.

For the complete article see the 03-14-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-14-2013 paper.

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