The Press Newspaper
A majority of first time juvenile delinquents in Oregon who were referred to the juvenile diversion Achieve program last year have successfully completed their contracts.
The 12-year-old program allows youths 7-17-years-old who have committed misdemeanors to undergo counseling and participate in community service to avoid jail.
In 2008, there were 40 cases referred to the Achieve program, Mayor Marge Brown said at a committee of the whole meeting on May 4.
Youths must sign contracts and follow a set of goals to successfully complete the program.
Thirty-one youths in the program last year signed the contract, seven refused, and two were found ineligible, said Brown.
Of the 31 contracts, 24 were successfully completed, she said.
If the contracts are not completed, the youths go back to the juvenile court system and end up with police records.
“Of the 24 who completed the program, 22 have not committed another offense, and that’s what we look at,” said Brown. “Right now, the success rate for that program is 91.6 percent.”
In 2007, 78 percent of contracts were completed.
The program gives youths the opportunity to “fulfill a contract, do some good things, and perhaps change some behavior,” said Council President Mike Sheehy.
“We’ve had quite a lot of success with the program over a number of years,” said Sheehy.
Oregon council will consider renewing its contract with Irene Renee Jardy, case manager of the program, at its meeting on Monday. Jardy is an employee of the police department, which supervises the services that are provided by the program.
Police Chief Rick Stager said Jardy, who works 20 hours per week, has been with the police department for two years.
“Renee has a great rapport with officers in our department,” said Stager. “There’s been several occasions where she has exceeded 20 hours a week without compensation. She continues to search for programs that juveniles will benefit from. Renee also takes time to contact juveniles when they are in the Achieve program for follow- up purposes. She makes them do a day-to-day journal. She takes her job very seriously.”
Brown said Jardy has shared the program’s success with other communities.
“They are very impressed with what we do here with our youth. So I think we’re on the right track,” said Brown.
If renewed, Jardy’s wage would increase from $20 per hour to $22 per hour.