The Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program brings together individuals and teams of law enforcement officers, probation staff, prosecutors, school officials, judges, policy-makers, and other local leaders who are committed to strengthening their diversion efforts. Participants receive in-depth training and guidance from national experts on cutting edge juvenile diversion policies, practices and programs while also benefiting from networking and learning across jurisdictions.
The program provides participants with the knowledge and tools needed to implement or improve juvenile diversion programming in their jurisdiction, thereby reducing the use of formal processing and incarceration, improving public safety, avoiding wasteful spending, limiting the collateral consequences youth encounter from exposure to the juvenile justice system, reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system and improving outcomes for youth and families. Upon completion of the Program, participants will receive an Executive Certificate from Georgetown University, membership into CJJR’s Fellows Network, and ongoing support from the staff.
As part of the program participants are required to develop and submit a Capstone Project — a set of actions designed to initiate or enrich collaborative efforts related to juvenile diversion. The Capstone Project can be a large, systemic change initiative, or it can be a targeted proposal. Capstone Project ideas include: developing a new diversion program, expanding evidence based or promising services within an existing diversion program, and statutory reform and/or court rule efforts. The project may also be focused on developing a data tracking and outcome system for existing programs, developing and implementing written policies and memorandum of understanding, or developing a sustainability plan.
Learn more about Capstone Projects.
Tuition & Application
Tuition & Application
The tuition for the Diversion Certificate Program is $2,500 per person. Tuition subsidies are available for participants with demonstrated financial need. Read more about tuition.
This Certificate Program was held August 2-5, 2016. Please check back on our website in 2017 for more information about next year’s program.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there are no minimum education or experience requirements to apply, a preference will be given to those in a professional position to move reform efforts forward upon completion of the program. Participants can be individuals working on best practices for diversion at the local, state, or national level.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as a team of up to seven individuals from the same jurisdiction. While each application will be reviewed on an individual basis, the value of this team approach will be considered in our review of applicants. CJJR particularly encourages teams comprised of both public and private agency leaders.
Teams should be comprised of applicants with demonstrated readiness for implementing reforms, especially efforts that engage leaders in other systems, and their agency’s relationship with other child-serving agencies. Team members can be senior level professionals in the juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, education and other related systems of care.
This program is NOT accepting applications from students who do not also hold a professional role in a child serving organization.
Curriculum & Instructors
Curriculum & Instructors
The curriculum is structured around the Juvenile Diversion Guidebook, published in 2011 and co-authored by CJJR as part of the Models for Change initiative. It will consist of the following eight modules:
Module 1: Purpose and Oversight
Provides participants with an overview of the objectives of diversion programs. This module will also feature the role of law enforcement at the key stage of arrest and referral, and will address the importance of determining what office or agency will have primary responsibility for implementing and operating the diversion program.
Module 2: Intake Criteria
Explores options concerning the development of eligibility criteria and written guidelines for the intake process. Digging a little deeper, this module will highlight screening and assessment protocols that features unbiased and empirically validated, or data driven tools that can gauge the risk of recidivism and more.
Module 3: Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities
Focuses on disparities in arrest, referral, and diversion for youth of color, and options for handling status and other low-level offenders without unnecessary involvement in the juvenile justice system. The module will include an interactive discussion about cognitive short cuts and implicit bias at all decision-making stages of the juvenile justice system, and what has worked to acknowledge and overcome this bias.
Module 4: Family Engagement
Explores why families are critical at all stages of diversion. The module will highlight the importance of engaging families during the intake process and development of the diversion agreement, but also focus on the key role families play in supporting a youth’s successful completion of a diversion program.
Module 5: Legal Protections and Information Sharing
Highlights strategies for sharing personally identifiable information in a way that optimizes each youth’s chance for success in diversion while protecting the youth’s privacy interests and due process rights. The module will also explore the role of legal counsel in the diversion process.
Module 6: Operation Policies
Provides examples of specific program requirements used by diversion programs as well as fair or measured options for dealing with non-compliance. Discussions will also cover incentives for youth to complete programming and criteria for program completion. In addition, participants will take inventory of what services the diversion population in their community likely need and what related services the community already offers and focus on considerations for quality and growth, training for new and existing staff and partners on written policies and procedures, and monitoring of program outcomes.
Module 7: Quality
Explores quality assurance processes for internal and external monitoring and evaluation. At this stage of program planning it is important to examine the program in relation to objectives and attend to improvements in development as well as maintenance. Considerations for quality and growth, training for new and existing staff and partners on written policies and procedures, and monitoring of program outcomes will be the focus of this module. This will include options in program development, program design, stakeholder support, policies and procedures, training curriculum, and data collection.
Module 8: Leadership and Messaging
Identifies ways to more effectively lead and message around collaborative efforts. Participants will analyze their own leadership styles and explore ways to overcome implementation barriers and work closely with partners and community members to ensure success.
Participants will also engage with a panel of experts that have successfully reformed or supported the way the juvenile justice system utilizes juvenile diversion in their jurisdictions. The panel will share their experiences and also provide valuable insights and guidance on practical considerations for Capstone Project ideas or theories.
Core instructors for the program include:
- Kevin Bethel, Senior Policy Advisor and Stonleigh Foundation Fellow, Juvenile Justice Research Reform Lab, Department of Psychology, Drexel University (Former Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department)
- Shay Bilchik, Director, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform
- Susan Broderick, Director, National Juvenile Justice Prosecution Center
- Morris Copeland, Director, Miami-Dade County Juvenile Services Department
- Tiana Davis, Policy Director for Equity and Justice, Center for Children’s Law and Policy
- Catherine Foley Geib, Clinical and Educational Services Manager, Court Support Services Division
- Laurie Hague, Deputy Chief, Berks County Juvenile Probation
- Kristin Henning, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
- Emily Keller, Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Law Center
- James McCarron, Jr., Deputy Director, Probation Services, Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Services
- Chris McKee, Lieutenant, Patrol Division, Windsor Police Department
- Marc Schindler, Executive Director, Justice Policy Institute
- Atasi Uppal, Staff Attorney, Juvenile Justice and FosterEd, National Center for Youth Law
- Gina M. Vincent, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
What our participants are saying
What our participants are saying
“CJJR’s Diversion Certificate Program was of great value to our CT team: affording opportunity to hear how other communities and jurisdictions are planning and implementing a variety of diversion efforts that may also inform our project, experiencing a variety of excellent presenters with diverse expertise especially on screening and assessment for diversion, and finally for the support and assistance provided before and during the program. We are confident that we are moving forward with a viable capstone project while fostering collaboration among our state agencies and stakeholders in this youth justice reform effort.”
Connecticut Team | Class of 2015
- Kitty Tyrol, Curriculum Developer/Instructor, Tow Youth Justice Institute, University of New Haven
- Sara Jeffries, Doctoral Student, Tow Youth Justice Institute, University of New Haven
- Erica Bromley, Juvenile Justice Liaison, Connecticut Youth Services Association
- Yecenia Casiano, Project Coordinator, Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc.
- Daisy Ortiz, Program Manager, Court Support Services Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch
- Steven Smith, Program Manager, Connecticut Department of Children and Families
“Our work with the Diversion Certificate Program at Georgetown University exceeded our expectation in supporting ABC in implementing an evidence based diversion program in our community. What we appreciated most about working with the team, was their ability to provide actual tools that we could take home and put to use immediately. We commend the staff on their knowledge and willingness to share the their expertise. The speakers were professional, yet considerate of the attendees and the different levels of experience in the room. Our experience was exceptional, and we look forward to continuing to build your project.”
Sturgis, South Dakota Team | Class of 2015
- Kara Graveman, Executive Director, Action for Betterment of the Community
- Dadra Avery, Professional School Counselor, Meade 46-1 School District
- Ben Mumm, Patrolman, Sturgis Police Department
“The Santa Monica Police Department team attended the Georgetown Diversion Certificate Program with a goal to develop a sustainable and effective diversion program. The Certificate Program reinforced the team’s conviction that diversion was a necessary structure to help youth stay out of the formal criminal justice system. We learned vital information from the professional sessions that helped us create the first steps for our program. One of the key takeaways was the need for an assessment to determine the treatment. We are eager to begin the first steps and develop a robust diversion program with the staff assistance. We are grateful to Shay and his staff for their commitment, dedication, and passion to this work!”
Santa Monica, CA Team | Class of 2015
- Ana Jara, Youth and Family Services Support Coordinator, Santa Monica Police Department
- Roy Brown, Police Detective, Santa Monica Police Department
- Wendell Shirley, Police Captain, Santa Monica Police Department
“Our Nebraska team of diverse professionals was honored to participate in the 2014 Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program at Georgetown University. Our team was comprised of rural, urban, state and local individuals, and this diversity allowed us to each bring a unique perspective about diversion and about the numerous benefits of the Georgetown learning experience. Additionally, each of us was able to benefit from the diversity of presenters in attendance. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming and perfectly conducive to a learning atmosphere for such an educational opportunity, and the caliber of professionals that was assembled by Georgetown was tremendous. The Georgetown program gave us a stronger background to better work toward our goal of providing useful diversion resources to counties throughout the State for diversion improvement and implementation during the upcoming years.”
Nebraska Department of Probation Team | Class of 2014
“The team from Idaho selected to attend the Diversion Certificate Program began with a goal to develop a more consistent diversion process throughout the state. The Certificate Program solidified the team’s belief that collaboration with key stakeholders was paramount to the project. We learned key information from the well-organized sessions that provided us with a more developed plan. The ongoing support and technical assistance will help us attain our goal.”
Idaho Team | Class of 2014
Read more testimonials.