Youth Diversion Program
The Youth Diversion Program is a collaboration between Westborough Youth and Family Services and The Westborough Police Department. It is designed for youths in Westborough who have been involved with the police or have violated a school's Chemical Health policy. It offers the youth a constructive alternative to court involvement.
The goal of the program is to provide prevention and intervention services for at-risk youth which enables them to learn from their mistakes and avoid future arrests and court involvement. This is accomplished by helping youths and their families to understand precipitants and contributing factors to their behavior, thus helping them to make better choices for themselves in the future.
Youths may be referred by a police officer in lieu of or after arrest for minor offenses, with the understanding that if the youth successfully completes the program, no further action will be taken. In cases involving restitution or a victim, a complaint must be issued.
Youths may also be referred by a school administrator for a violation of the Chemical Health Policy. Successful completion of the program results in a reduction of suspension from extra-curricular activities as defined by the policy.
The Youth Diversion Program is four (approximately one hour) sessions and consists of the following:
- The first session is scheduled with the youth and both parents. Information is gathered about the incident, the behaviors leading up to it, and the family's response.
- The second session is scheduled with both parents to gather information about the youth including family history and current situations that may be relevant to the incident.
- The third session is scheduled with the youth to discuss school pressures, peer interactions including substance use, and personal or family issues.
- The fourth session, is scheduled with the youth and both parents to review what the family has learned from the process and to discuss any further recommendations.
Westborough Police Department - Serve, Educate & Protect - Zero Tolerance
Zero Tolerance is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy adopted by the Westborough Police Department. Police Officers are expected to take a proactive approach to addressing the drug and alcohol issues that adversely affect our families and our community. Ignoring these issues or passing them off as "a stage of life" are no longer acceptable excuses.
Zero Tolerance simply means that the Police will not tolerate the unlawful possession or use of alcohol and drugs. The Police will take a proactive approach with youthful offenders in a manner that is appropriate and most effective in dealing with the particular issue at hand.
The Westborough Police Department is proud to join in partnership with Westborough Youth and Family Services.
-Al Gordon, Chief of Police
Resources for Program Participants
- Youth Diversion flyer (PDF)
- Westborough Public Schools Chemical Health Policy. See File: JICH-R - Westborough Public Schools Chemical Health Policy in Section J of the Online Policy Manual under the School Committee tab of the WPS website.
- 4 Stages Teenage Chemical Dependency (PDF)
- Chemically Dependent Adolescent (PDF)
- Stages In Co-Dependent Family (PDF)
- Stages of Adolescent Chemical Dependency (PDF)
- Early and Regular Cannabis Use Linked To IQ Decline (PDF)
- Uneven Brain Development Contributes to Adolescent Risk-Taking (PDF)
- Detox List (PDF)
- Learn To Cope (PDF) - For parents and families coping with a loved one addicted to drugs.
- Dating FAQs (PDF) - What to look for in a boy/girlfriend