Depending on the charges, if your child is arrested and resides in the Town of Manchester, they may be offered Juvenile Diversion and referred to the Manchester Restorative Diversion Collaborative (MRDC). Diversion is provided for in Sec. 10-19m of Connecticut State Statute. The primary goal of the MRDC is to divert, when appropriate, Manchester youth between the ages 10-18 from the juvenile justice system.
The purpose of the Manchester Restorative Diversion Collaborative (MRDC) is to divert youth from the juvenile justice system and assist with the implementation of restorative practices that promote healing for the youth involved and the Manchester community. MRDC is dedicated to helping youth take accountability for their actions through a community-based approach that focuses on building relationships, repairing harm, and reducing recidivism.
The primary objective of the Manchester Restorative Diversion Collaborative (MRDC) is to divert, when appropriate, Manchester youth between the ages 10-18 from the Juvenile Justice system. The following objectives provide a framework for MRDC’s process:
- To provide meaningful, non-judicial alternatives to assist youth who have caused harm to take accountability for their actions and prevent recidivism
- To provide resources and opportunities for youth that offer a holistic approach including person-centered programs, services, and referrals
- To encourage and enhance coordination of local service providers to respond to youth and families in need of support services
The Collaborative is comprised of individuals from local youth-serving agencies. These may include but are not limited to: Youth Service Bureau staff, school personnel, police department, juvenile probation, and members of community organizations. Regular scheduled meetings will occur on a monthly basis, or as the Collaborative considers it necessary based on the volume of work.
- SUMMONS & REFERRAL: After the initial contact with Manchester Police, the parent/guardian of the youth is notified by the investigating officer of the incident. If deemed appropriate at the Officer’s discretion, the youth’s case may be referred as a Juvenile Diversion. A Diversion Summons will be issued by a Manchester Police Officer to the parent/guardian. Failure to agree and sign the Diversion Summons will result in a Juvenile Court Summons.
- INTAKE: The Diversion Coordinator will contact the Parent/Guardian to schedule an Intake with the youth, parent/guardian, Diversion Coordinator, and Diversion Case Manager. During the Intake, the Diversion process will be explained and information will be gathered to get to know the youth and family and assess additional service needs. There will also be discussion about the incident that resulted in arrest and the restorative questions will be provided to prepare the youth and family for Circle Discussion.
- CIRCLE DISCUSSION: The youth, their parent/guardian, and 1-2 support people (optional) will meet with members of the Diversion Collaborative. At this meeting, the group will talk about the incident using the restorative questions. Together, the group will develop a plan, seeking input from everyone in the room. The plan outlines what the youth will need to do in order to successfully complete their Diversion program.
- CASE MANAGEMENT: The Diversion Case Manager will support the youth and family throughout the Diversion process to help ensure the plan is completed.
CASE CLOSURE: Once the plan has been completed, the youth will return for a meeting to provide an update and celebrate success. At this time the Diversion Coordinator may offer additional programs or services when necessary. Youth and families are encouraged to reach out with questions, concerns, or additional needs whenever they may come up.