Trial Court partnering with EMU for juvenile intervention program

By Frank Weir

Legal News

The Washtenaw County Trial Court has entered into a partnership with the EMU Adolescent Diversion Program according to Probate and Juvenile Court Administrator Linda Edwards-Brown.

The overall aim is to utilize trained and supervized college students to achieve improved outcomes for early and first-time juvenile offenders in hopes of preventing further encounters with the law.

"The purpose of this partnership is to provide for a replication of the evidenced-based Michigan State University Adolescent Diversion Program for Early and First-Time Juvenile Offenders here in Washtenaw County utilizing EMU bachelor-level students," Edwards-Brown said.

She noted that the initial contract covers the period of January 1, 2011 to August 31, 2012. EMU Project Director and Professor Jennifer Kellman-Fritz, and Bonnie Miller are the academic contacts for the program.

"Together, they will interview and select students for the fall/winter, and then winter/spring/summer semesters."

The first course begins this fall and a second course next January when there will be two sessions running simultaneously, at different stages. The training sessions for students run three hours per week and will be team taught by Kellman-Fritz and Miller.

Edwards-Brown added that eight to 10 students are anticipated to enroll in each unit each semester. In addition to the initial course, Kellman-Fritz and Miller will supervise the assignment of each student to a diverted juvenile offender and communicate youth outcomes to the Court.

The two professors will participate in program evaluation, providing data necessary to assess program efficacy, develop improvements, and advocate for continued funding, as appropriate, Edwards-Brown concluded.

Published: Thu, Sep 8, 2011