Youth Development and Diversion Program

The Youth Development and Diversion Program (YDD) is working to decrease the incidence of delinquency in our community, provide proper alternatives to detention while increasing the emphasis on prevention and early intervention in Juvenile Justice Services. The YDD provides a series of diversion programs for at-risk youth who commit a misdemeanor or status offense or are in need of positive health and personal development.

  1. 1
  2. 2

The role of the program is to provide youth an immediate consequence to their offense and to divert them from the formal juvenile justice system. Youth (ages 12 to 18) in the City of Las Cruces and surrounding areas of Doña Ana County, are eligible to participate in the diversion programs offered.

Entering the Program

Youth with Class 3 Citations issued by law enforcement are sent to the Youth Development and Diversion Office (YDDO). The citation is screened by YDD and a referral is made to the YDD when it is determined that the youth is appropriate for services. The YDD also serves at-risk youth from other agencies/organizations such as the Las Cruces and Gadsden Public School Districts, 3rd Judicial District Court, and the Public Defender’s Office, as well as direct referrals (walk-ins).

Program Topics

Topics addressed in the YDD sessions are:

  • Adolescent mental health
  • Alcohol and drug use, abuse and prevention
  • Bullying
  • Civic responsibility
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Employment and continuing education
  • Healthy relationships
  • Leadership
  • Self-esteem
  • Teen dating violence

Upon Successful Completion

All youth who successfully complete the YDD are followed up with for a period of 3 to 12 months by community educators.  During this period, the educators will contact the youth to see how they are doing at home, in the community and at school. School attendance and grades are reviewed. Referrals to outside resources can be made on behalf of the family as particular needs arise.

Program Reach & Funding

The Youth Development and Diversion Programs serves all of Doña Ana County. The Citation Program is grant-funded by the State of New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department and the City of Las Cruces.