Juveniles charged with first-time misdemeanor crimes or status offenses may be eligible for this program which utilizes community resources to address problems brought to the attention of Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. Diversion allows a juvenile to avoid formal court action and address the charge at a diversion hearing.

Families who select to have their child’s case handled through diversion are required to attend a hearing with a Magistrate, police officer and program administrator. The juvenile must admit to the offense committed and offer facts and circumstances regarding the incident. The Magistrate will impose sanctions such as community service hours, referral to family counseling, curfew restrictions, restitution, etc.

If the juvenile completes all sanctions without violating any of the conditions, and if the juvenile does not commit another crime or status offense before age 18, the informal diversion record will be destroyed. This allows the juvenile a second chance to have a clean record for employment or higher education opportunities.

Juvenile diversion cases can be returned to Cuyahoga Juvenile Court for further court action if the juvenile violates the agreed upon diversion conditions, commits another offense before age 18, or if the family believes the child is innocent of the charge. For information on the juvenile diversion program, call 216-289-8449.