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About Juvenile Diversion Programs


Youth who commit delinquent acts may be dealt with in a speedy and informal manners, stressing the importance of good citizenship, personal integrity, and family communication. The primary goal is to divert young people who have committed first-time offenses from progressive involvement in the criminal justice system. As outlined in Florida Statute, misdemeanor violators and eligible third degree felony offenders are referred by Law Enforcement and the State Attorney's Office for hearing and disposition.  In addition to identifying alternative sanctions for the court, Juvenile Diversion Programs (JDP) includes a variety of programs.


In the late 1970s, recognizing the increasing backlog of Juvenile Court Delinquency cases, Hillsborough County applied for and was awarded a grant from The Law Enforcement Assistance Administration to establish a voluntary program for first time youthful offenders who were charged with misdemeanor offenses.  The resulting program, known as the Voluntary Juvenile Arbitration Program, has undergone several changes during the intervening years.  With the expiration of federal funds, the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County assumed responsibility and implemented this effective diversion program on October 1, 1979, which is authorized by Florida Statute §985.304. The department expanded in October of 1989 with the creation of the Teen Court Program.  Similarly authorized by Florida Statute, Teen Court became operational in March 1990. 

Performance Measures

Please Contact the Program 813-272-6766