Programs and Classes
Youth Court was started in Bannock County in November 1991. It is a diversion program designed to give first of second time juvenile offenders a "second chance". Juvenile offenders who have committed a misdemeanor are given a chance to attend Youth Court. If they complete their outlined program, they will not have a juvenile record.
In cooperation with the School District 25 Experienced Career Based Education Program, ten to twelve EBCE students are trained as Youth Court panelists. These volunteers question the offender and their parents to gain information that will help them in deciding a disposition for the offender. Pocatello Police Department also assigns a school resource officer to attend Youth Court to help panelists understand important things to consider by different types of offenses. The program helps over a hundred juveniles a year to take a second look at their mistakes and make a decision to stay out of the juvenile system. In addition, it provides high school students with a realistic view of juvenile law. Youth Court is held every other Wednesday at 6:00 pm.
*Ram Court is a cooperative program between Bannock County Juvenile Justice and Highland High School that uses the Youth Court Model to divert students with minor offenses and behavioral problems as an alternative to referral to the courts or a formal major discipline. Referrals to the program come from the School Resource Officer or a Vice Principal. Students referred to the program appear before a panel of student peers that is comprised of the student officers.
(Grant Funded – Increase in Funding FY 08)
The Status Offender Program is a diversion program funded by the Idaho Supreme Court that focuses on the special needs of status offenders and their families. Each family is assessed in order to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the needs and risks of the family. The Status Offender Officer meets with the family and juvenile regularly to monitor progress and help mediate family issues.
The program contracts with a counselor to provide services to families that are unable to afford counseling. This allows the families to access in a timely manner needed therapy to deal with the issues that are contributing to the maladaptive behavior in the family.
(Grant Funding through the Balanced & Restorative
Truancy Court was developed as an early intervention program in partnership with the juvenile court, juvenile justice, school district #25, and other community based agencies to address the increasing problem of truancy. Students charged with a 3rd truancy are given the option to participate in the program as an alternative to probation. Cases are evaluated by the Truancy Court Team, which consists of the Juvenile Court Judge, School Resource Officer, School Official, and the Truancy Court Coordinator. A case management plan is developed based on the Balanced Approach and the needs of the juvenile and family. Additional services such as mental health services, substance abuse counseling, parent education or family therapy, and individual counseling may be implemented as part of the case management plan based on the family’s needs.
Truancy Court is a mini drug court model and consists of three phases. The juveniles and their parents attend weekly scheduled Truancy Court meetings to evaluate their compliance with the conditions of the Truancy Court program. The juveniles receive rewards for compliance and sanctions for violations. In order to graduate from the program, juveniles and parents must comply with the conditions of the Truancy Court program for an extended period of time, and the Truancy Court team must reach a consensus that the needs have been adequately addressed and the likelihood of further truancy significantly reduced.