Community and law enforcement leaders announced the creation of a new program aimed at preventing youths from entering the juvenile justice system. The Community Youth Court will help youths of Southeast San Diego who are referred by the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego County Probation Department, and San Diego City Schools.

Youths will attend appropriate programs and receive services such as counseling, substance abuse treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy and community service depending on the Probation Department’s assessment. The program requires participants to meet with a panel of community members to discuss their criminal offense, consequences of their actions, and assignments made by the panel. The youth will then be responsible for completing their case plan assignments and reporting back on a regular basis.