The City of Seaside Police Department in collaboration with Monterey Peninsula Unified School District has established a Juvenile Diversion Program that began in January 2004. The program was made possible as a result of a state grant from the Drug Free Schools program. The goal of the Youth Diversion Program at Seaside Police Department is to prevent juveniles from entering the justice system by providing positive alternatives, accountability and counseling. The program is a resource and is intended for first time offenders, at-risk youth, runaways, and those youth who are beginning to act out, and/or demonstrate signs of inappropriate behavior at home, school and in the community.
Referrals are made primarily by Seaside police officers, but may also come from schools or concerned parents. Referrals are often initiated by a citation, but not in all cases. An individualized Diversion Program is then developed in partnership with the Diversion Counselor, the family, the Seaside Police Department, and school officials when appropriate, and may include any or all of the following:
Volunteer service in the community
Financial restitution to the victim, depending on infraction
Homework related to the offense, i.e. research assignment
Referral and attendance to drug, alcohol, anger management, and/or individual and family counseling
Commitment to attend regular counseling sessions with Youth Diversion
Participation in after-school activities, as appropriate
Failure to complete the Diversion Program may result in the case being sent for formal action to the Monterey County Juvenile Probation Department.