Juvenile Diversion

Volunteers for Youth Justice (VYJ) provides educational intervention and support to young people and their families who have been referred by area courts, school systems, and community agencies. For more information on the classes listed below, contact Shonda Houston-Dotie, Director of Youth Programs at (318) 425-4413, Ext. 104 or at shonda.houston@vyjla.org.

Youth Programs:

  1. Stamp Out Shoplifting (SOS) is targeted to juveniles with first-time theft offenses; however, repeat offenders are also accepted. Youth and parent/guardian are required to attend a 4-hour workshop, complete community service, and personally deliver a written apology to the store manager or owner of the stolen item. The SOS workshop is offered the third Saturday of each month. Parents are required to attend.
    Fee: $100.00 to the DA’s Office, $40 to the VYS, Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  2. Power of Choice (POC) is a 6 session series of classes that encourage youth participants to consider how their decisions impact their lives. A variety of topics are explored in POC, including peer pressure, goal-setting, sexual responsibility, substance abuse, respect for adults/parents/teachers, and the importance of education. POC classes are held on the first three Tuesdays and Thursdays of the month. Each class lasts 1 1⁄2 hours. The program provides an important opportunity for volunteers and staff to develop relationships with youth in order to better serve their individual needs. Parents are required to attend 1 Parent Power of Choice session with the youth.
    Fee: $100.00 to the DA’s Office, $40 to the VYS, Time: 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.  Contact: LaTanya Gates, Bossier Jumpstart Coordinator, (318) 459-6691.
  3. Teen Court is a program designed to offer non-violent, first-time juvenile offenders the opportunity to be judged by a jury of their peers, accept responsibility for their actions, and make restitution for their offenses. Youth volunteers serve as attorneys, bailiffs, clerks, and jurors. Referrals to this program are made by the District Attorney’s office. Any youth age 13 – 18 may volunteer. Teen Court is located at 3022 Old Minden Road, 2nd Floor, Room 207, Bossier City, Louisiana  71112. Phone:  (318) 453-5404.
  4. Family in Need of Services (FINS) contact Jacob McCarty, FINS Officer at (318) 470-9976.

For more information on Juvenile Diversion Programs, you may contact the Juvenile Diversion Office at (318) 965-3718.