Youth Intervention and Diversion

Our Felony Youth Diversion Program is made up of a select group of attorneys who represent adolescents charged with felony offenses. These adolescents, who range from fourteen to eighteen years old, receive the benefit of intense, individualized, and comprehensive services.
The goal of the attorneys in Felony Youth Diversion Program is to resolve, wherever possible, each case with youthful offender adjudication and a non-jail sentence. To achieve this goal, the attorneys argue that in the interest of justice, young offenders should be treated differently from adult offenders, and receive guidance, rehabilitation, and services from the court rather than a sentence of incarceration. Successful youthful offender adjudications allow those eighteen and under to avoid criminal convictions and the harsh lifelong consequences that follow.
After intake, a social worker meets with the youth to determine what services are appropriate: the goal is not only achieve a positive outcome in the case, but to assist the youth in returning to his community and leading law-abiding life. After the assessment, an individualized service plan is developed for each youth. This plan is presented to the judge in the Youth Part and proposed as an alternative to incarceration. Service plans can include recommendations of probation, anger management, group or individual counseling, family counseling, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, education and community service, as well as job training Programs with paid or unpaid internships. QLA’s social workers, who have developed relationships with a variety of service providers throughout the New York, work to ensure that QLA clients have access to the type of programs they need to be successful.