YOUTHFUL OFFENDER DIVERSION ALTERNATIVE (YODA) PROGRAM
An Alternative for Domestic Violence Defendants Ages 17-25 in Tarrant County
YODA is an alternative to standard pre-trial diversion programs for family assaults presented in Tarrant Criminal Court Number 5. This program provides counseling and case management to youthful offenders aged 17-25, who have been arrested for assault against a non-intimate family member (defined as blood relative, related by marriage or intimate relationship with another family member). The program is managed and the services are provided by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has specialty training in trauma and abuse.
Through counseling and case management, the hope is that solutions and skills development will address the contributing factors and circumstances that led to the arresting incident. Through case management services in collaboration with outside agencies, defendants are given an opportunity to stabilize their lives and gain access to resources that can encourage further development. This is a strengths-based and solutions-oriented program; whereby, defendants will establish goals to help them move their lives away from future criminality and violence. Based on the efforts made by defendants to change and promote better trajectories in their lives, a charge dismissal may be earned.
Aim of the YODA Program
Through individual and family counseling, which includes case management, the YODA program is set up to help young offenders work through the process of accomplishing goals and thinking about alternative solutions.
Youth will be asked to demonstrate accountability for themselves by setting program goals and working on these goals. Program completion is dependent on the accomplishments of and effort toward those goals.
Family members will be asked to participate as allies in the process, support for the youth, and additional agents of change. Family therapy can help family members understand their own process for change.
Who is Eligible for YODA?
- First-time offenders only (individuals with past juvenile charges may be considered on a case by case basis);
- Defendant must be between the ages of 17-25 at time of enrollment into program;
- Defendant cannot be on probation/parole for any offense;
- Defendant must not have other pending criminal charges; and
- Defendant cannot have any pending felony charges or past convictions of felony charges.
Further, the Defendant Must be:
- Willing to make changes in their lives and participate in counseling, which includes providing input, feedback and disclosing personal information;
- Willing to adhere to the attendance policy and participation rules; and
- Willing to live drug-free and sober.
What Fees are Associated with YODA?
Participants in YODA pay a supervision fee of $40/month. This fee can be adjusted based on hardship. Participants also pay $18 for each drug test, which are randomly assigned throughout the program.
Length of the YODA Program
The YODA Program typically lasts from 4 to 6 months. The program can be extended to accommodate participants that are experiencing compliance issues. Once the defendant successfully completes the YODA Program, the judge will dismiss the underlying criminal charge.
Contact our Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Team
Our Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys are experienced in Domestic Violence cases and the YODA Program. Contact us today at (817) 993-9249 for a Free Consultation of your case.