Juvenile Services offers youth offenders, referred by law enforcement, schools, parents, or social services, as a community alternative to a criminal record and positive support. Youth offenders are offered a 3 month to one year contract that includes: weekly case management, grades, and attendance monitoring, drug and alcohol testing, mediation with families, community service, extra-curricular activities, drug and alcohol education, and counseling. We are pleased to be including Restorative Justice Conferencing. Youth offenders have committed such crimes as, theft, minor in possession of alcohol or drugs, trespassing, assault, harassment, and disorderly conduct, or are just not functioning well in their community. We also work closely with (ISST) Individual Services Support Team which offers help to families with children in the community. We have a successful attendance advocacy program to assist schools in supporting school attendance and lowering drop-out rates.
In addition, Juvenile Services is the leading agency in what is called the Crossover Youth Team. This team is charged with the responsibility for assisting the San Miguel courts in making appropriate sentencing recommendation for youth going through the court system, especially with youth involved in multiple systems. The team consists of the deputy DA, Probation, and Social Services.
To stay connected to the youth population at large, all Juvenile Services employees sit on non-profit youth organization boards. For many years we have been members of Partners, the Voyager Youth Program, Communities That Care, as well as Community Corrections and 7th Judicial District Youth Planning Boards.
Because we are committed to public safety and community awareness, we host several prevention events. Our program offers an after prom party for Ridgway, Ouray, and Norwood. We also will be offering our middle school “Lunch Bunch” in all schools as well. These groups educate 7th and 8th graders on current health, relationship, stress, and social media issues. Our program offers speakers to educate students and parents on drug is in the schools. We are monthly creating situations for youth to perform useful public service connecting youth with up-keep projects for the elderly, highway clean-up, and with community groups, such as Second Chance Humane Society, Partners, One to One, The Elks, The Adaptive Ski Program, Town Parks, and Ouray Public Health and local food banks. We will be training peer mentors this summer in leading the high schools in the Natural Highs program which teaches youth about brain chemistry, anxiety, and alternative healthy ways for relieving stress.