Public Safety Youth Programs

Denver Public Safety Youth Programs (PSYP) function as a partnership between the community, private and government organizations to promote positive youth diversion and intervention programs. Youth programs serve thousands of youth and families each year through a number of prevention and intervention services.

Do you need help now? Schedule a meeting with the Juvenile Service Center. 

Juvenile Services Center


Prevention programs involve partnering with community organizations and schools to implement and support culturally responsive and proven programs. 

Youth Leadership Team

The Youth Leadership Team (YLT) provides young people with an opportunity to provide their voice, perspective, and solutions to issues impacting youth. YLT members are between the ages of 14-24, are hired as a city employee, and serve as a youth advisory group for Department of Safety and the city's Youth Violence Prevention Action Table.  The YLT also provides peer mentoring support for youth ages 9-13. 

The Youth Leadership Summit 

The all-day summit is designed to give youth an opportunity to discuss issues they face, support programs and policies that better the lives of youth within the Denver-metro area, and develop an ongoing partnership within the community.

Youth Summit sponsors and participants challenge young people to engage in meaningful dialogue with city leaders about issues ranging from health, safety, secondary education, and job readiness. Since its inception, the youth summit has been attended by over 15,000 youth and adults. 

For additional information contact Theresa Kimmet at 720 913-4622 or

Family Resiliency Program

Youth Programs provides training, technical assistance, and funding to support implementation of programs that have proven to be effective at improving family relationships, communication, and reducing at-risk behavior in youth. 

Youth Programs works with community partners to implement: 

  • the Strong African American Families Program 
  • the Strengthening Families Program (SFP)  
  • El Programa Familias Fuertes (FF)


El Joven Noble

Youth Programs provides training, technical assistance, and funding to support implementation of this program throughout Denver. Developed by the National Compadres Network, El Joven Noble is a comprehensive indigenous based, youth leadership development program that supports and guides youth through their “rites of passage” process while focusing on the prevention of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, relationship violence, gang violence and school failure. 

Westwood Community Table

Youth Programs partners with Denver Police District 4 and the Denver Housing Authority to connect residents of Westwood Homes to supports and services to reduce crime in the Westwood neighborhood. The Westwood Community Table is a strategy included as part of DPD District 4’s Community-Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) grant plan.   

Secondary Prevention 

Safety Youth Programs provides access to secondary prevention services to reduce high risk behavior and prevent system involvement. 

(RONI) Runaway Outreach Notification and Intervention Project

RONI caseworkers conduct outreach to youth and their families within 24-48 hours of receiving a run report.  An assessment will be completed with the youth and/ or the family to determine services needed for both the youth, and the family.  Partnered with external community organizations, the overall goal is to learn the reason for the youth running and preventing future running.

Caseworkers continue regular engagement with the family and youth to determine if resources are working, or if additional services need to be provided. There is no cost to the family for this program. 

Community Resources (including but not limited to): 

  • Tutoring
  • Mentoring
  • Individual/family therapy
  • Sports
  • Drug treatment
  • Public transportation vouchers
  • Food box distribution 
  • Clothing
  • School Supplies 

If you are unsure whether or not to contact police, reach out to RONI Program Manager, Beth McNalley at (720) 913-4618 or Beth.McNalley@Denvergov.Org 


Voluntary Diversion Program

The Voluntary Diversion Program serves as a prevention program that helps address the needs of young people who are engaging in delinquent behavior and are at risk of entering the juvenile justice system without some sort of intervention.  The process works the same as the Municipal Juvenile Diversion Program in that an assessment is completed and a diversion plan is created to include services that will address root-issue causes of delinquent behavior.  

All services that are available to youth on court-related diversion are also available to youth on voluntary diversion, including:

  • anger management/conflict resolution
  • drug and alcohol classes
  • gang intervention and family workshops

Referrals to the program come from a variety of sources including parents, school officials and police officers to name a few. 

Parents and schools can make a referral by contacting us via email or by calling (720) 913-4620.

School-Based Diversion

Like Voluntary Diversion, Youth Programs has staff assigned to be on school grounds at several Denver Public Schools to provide an alternative to issuing citations to municipal court and supporting truancy prevention efforts.

High Schools using School-Based Diversion:

  • George Washington High School 
  • Abraham Lincoln High School 
  • Montbello High School 
  • Northfield High School 
  • West High School 


Safety Youth Programs partners with juvenile or adult criminal agencies to provide and/ or support diversion and outreach services for justice-involved individuals. 

(HYPE) Helping Youth Pursue Excellence Program

The Helping Youth Pursue Excellence (HYPE) Program is a comprehensive vocational training program that gives participants a chance to earn while they learn. The 10-week program is designed to provide participants with a well-rounded experience that builds their work-related skills to improve their chances of securing long-term employment. Clients are employed directly through The Urban Farm in this one of a kind collaboration project and are paid on a bi-weekly basis.

In addition to daily programming HYPE will facilitate job readiness training and will provide ongoing case management to support a successful transition into the workforce as programming concludes. Certified financial advisors with the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) will facilitate financial literacy sessions on banking, budgeting, and credit to help participants establish good financial habits and develop an individualized financial plan. Participants will also learn about educational and career opportunities that are available through the Community College of Denver (CCD) and will be introduced to department staff who can assist with enrollment and financial aid via the Education Opportunity Center.  

Municipal/ Expedited Diversion Program

The Municipal Juvenile Diversion Program targets youth in violation of city laws such as trespassing, curfew violations, and shoplifting.  The goal of the diversion program is to identify any underlying issues that may serve as barriers for youth being productive and successful members of the community. 

Diversion serves an alternative to the traditional court process, and successful completion of the program results in case dismissal without a guilty plea.  Diversion is a short-term intervention strategy that provides an opportunity to identify youth at highest risk for continued delinquent behavior at the lowest level in Denver’s juvenile justice system. 


  • Reduce recidivism rates for participants
  • Incorporate positive youth development principles into the framework of diversion
  • Partner with and support community-based agencies to provide effective services for youth and families 

The overall 2011 recidivism rate for Municipal Court Diversion Program was 11% for the entire 12-months.  By comparison, those youth not completing Diversion had a recidivism rate of 22%.


Truancy Court Diversion Program

The goal of the Truancy Court Diversion Program is to reduce the number of youth appearing in truancy court, improve school attendance, and identify at risk youth. A parent/ guardian and youth meet with a Diversion Officer to complete an assessment and a strength-based diversion plan. With successful completion of the program participant will no longer have to appear in court and have their case closed. 

Eligible youth do NOT have:

  • prior court involvement
  • an open case with Human Services

Requirements may include:

  • school attendance and progress reports
  • community service
  • counseling or research projects

Colorado Youth Detention Continuum Program

The Colorado Youth Detention Continuum Program (CYDC) team will provide detention screening and pre-trial release services for youth charged with a misdemeanor and/or felony in Denver Juvenile Court.     

Juvenile Trafficking Multidisciplinary Team

Youth Programs facilitates a monthly multidisciplinary team (MDT) to staff referrals coming from law enforcement, juvenile justice, child welfare, and/or other youth-serving agencies. The goals of the MDT are to confirm victimization and to develop and/or implement an outreach plan with the goal of connecting the youth and family to support services.