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Helping Youth in the Juvenile System

The Juvenile Community Justice (JCJ) program in Ottawa County, Michigan, provides intensive, community-based services for youth who are involved with the court. The program is administered by the 20th Circuit Court, Juvenile Services Division in collaboration with Bethany Christian Services, Pathways, MI, and other local agencies.

The Goal 

Juvenile Community Justice provides a variety of community-based prevention and treatment services to help youth who are ordered by the court to participate in the program, including assisting them with: 

  • Reducing/eliminating recidivism 
  • Improving their academic performance 
  • Promoting a drug/alcohol-free lifestyle 
  • Developing employment skills 

Upon admittance into the program, an individual treatment plan will be developed for each youth and his or her family. 

Juvenile Court Services  

When a youth is being considered by the court for this program, a comprehensive evaluation by the court’s Assessment Unit and a predispositional investigation by the Probation Department will be conducted. A presentation will then be made to the court’s resource team to discuss the findings and form appropriate recommendations that meets the individual needs of the youth. After considering the recommendations, the judge may then order the juvenile into the program.  

Upon placement into JCJ, Bethany Christian Services or Pathways, MI will be assigned to facilitate implementing the individual treatment plan in cooperation with the court’s JCJ supervisor, probation officer, group leader, along with help from others in the juvenile’s community (as needed). 

An Ottawa County Sheriff's Deputy is part of the JCJ team and is assigned full-time to Juvenile Services, serving as the youth’s probation officer—a unique component of this program. Other program services in include: 

  • A comprehensive assessment 
  • Individualized treatment planning 
  • Specialized foster care 
  • Family therapy 
  • Individual/group therapy 
  • Mentoring 
  • Victim restoration 
  • Transportation 
  • Education support 
  • Drug/alcohol testing 
  • Vocational training 
  • Parenting assistance 
  • Afterschool programming 
  • Tether/voice monitoring 
  • Reintegration services 
  • Specialized aftercare services 

For More Information

There are many ways you can get involved and help these youth. To learn more about volunteering or becoming a foster parent, call 770.455.7111.