Public Safety Youth Programs

Overview

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.

Intervention & Diversion Programs

Denver Public Safety Youth Programs help reduce crime and violence in the community by engaging at-risk youth in alternative programs that reduce repeat offenses. We accept referrals to the program from the community, law enforcement, courts, and schools.

Municipal Diversion

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. 

Objectives:

  • 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 

Successes:
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%.

PACE Program (Promoting Academics & Character Education)

The PACE Program (Promoting Academics & Character Education) is a collaboration between Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver, Denver Public Schools and Denver Public Safety Youth Programs. PACE operates two different classrooms throughout the city. These sites are located in the Baker neighborhood (West) and the Montbello neighborhood (East). The Boys and Girls Club operates and manages both sites.

Youth are referred to PACE by DPS middle schools and K-8 schools due to a variety of behaviors including fighting, carrying a weapon, drug involvement, truancy, threats or intimidation, and habitual classroom disruption. The purpose of PACE is to provide a targeted, supportive intervention in order to promote academic success, life skills development, and a reduction in violent or negative behaviors among youth who exhibit significant behavioral problems.

View the 2012-2013 PACE Report

SafeNite Curfew Program

The SafeNite Curfew Program begins April 1st and runs through September 30th. Curfew hours apply to young people between the ages of 10 and 17 and are:

  • Sunday through Thursday: 11:00 pm to 5:00 am
  • Friday and Saturday: Midnight to 5:00 am

Truancy Court Diversion

The goal of this program is to:

  • reduce the number of youth appearing in truancy court
  • improve school attendance
  • identify at risk youth

Eligible youth do NOT have:

  • prior court involvement
  • an open case with Human Services

A parent/guardian and youth meet with a Diversion Officer to complete an assessment and a strength-based diversion plan.

Requirements may include:

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

With successful completion of the program, participants:

  • will not have to return to court
  • will have their truancy case closed

Prevention Strategies 

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.


Youth Leadership Summit

The Denver Public Safety Youth Leadership Team is made up of young people (13-18) looking to take an active role in the community.  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 theresa.kimmet@denvergov.org