The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) Alternative Intervention Services (AIS) provides quality intervention services in an effort to promote optimal functioning of local youth.
3228 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
- Truancy Interdiction
- Juvenile First Offender (JFO)
- Youth Intervention
- Youth & Family Needs Assessments
- Education Regarding Community Resources
- Linkage to Community Resources
- Case Management
The purpose of the unit is to provide support and resources to youth and their families residing in PBSO districts. The unit does not provide crisis intervention and is not a treatment provider. However, AISU does provide programs designed to assess and address the academic, emotional, and practical needs of local youth and their families. For example, our Youth Intervention Program provides case management services to students who are in need of assistance in addressing academic underachievement and truancy.
TRUANCY INTERDICTION PROGRAM
Truants are students under 18 who are enrolled in school and absent from school without permission, with the exceptions of runaways, homeschoolers, and those withdrawn from school. When a truant is found in public during school hours, PBSO deputies are instructed to return them to their school, the Juvenile Assessment Center, or their legal guardian. Students should not be picked up from their residence. If a legal guardian wishes to report their child as truant who is at the residence, they should contact their child’s school guidance counselor for more information on the appropriate resources. In addition, families may contact the AISU Intake Line at (561) 688-5423 for information about additional support and community resources.
JUVENILE FIRST OFFENDER (JFO) PROGRAM
The Juvenile First Offender (JFO) Program is a voluntary program designed to divert juvenile first offenders from the justice system and reduce recidivism, the likelihood that the juvenile will commit another criminal offense.
- First-time misdemeanor offenders arrested for crimes such as shoplifting, trespass, possession of marijuana under 20g or possession of paraphernalia, simple battery, affray, possession of alcohol, and criminal mischief are referred to the program by the arresting PBSO deputy.
- All arresting paperwork is held by the JFO Program for those meeting the program criteria.
- A Notice of Orientation is sent to the legal guardian inviting both the guardian and the youth to participate in the program.
- The youth must be willing to admit guilt, sign a statement waiving their rights to due process, and be willing to actively participate in the program.
- An Assessment is scheduled to discuss the case, assess needs, and assign sanctions.
- Sanctions are assigned at the Assessment to encourage the youth to think about the consequences of their actions. Examples of sanctions are performing community service hours, anti-theft or anger management classes, drug testing, observing a curfew, participating in youth court, writing essays, and writing letters of apology.
- Program participation includes school monitoring, monthly office visits, and linkage to community resources such as workshops, counseling and treatment providers. The program can typically be completed within ninety (90) days.
- No criminal charges will be filed if the youth complies with the program’s requirements and sanctions.
- If the youth does not meet the JFO Program criteria, does not actively participate, is re-arrested, or fails to successfully complete the program, the case will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for filing of criminal charges.
A list of runaway children is sent to AISU from the PBSO Missing Persons Unit. AISU makes every effort to communicate with the legal guardians of all youths who are reported as runaways. AISU uses all information provided to conduct a Needs Assessment of the educational, substance abuse, and mental health issues that may be present and determine the appropriate service(s).
YOUTH INTERVENTION PROGRAM
Case Management Services
The Youth Intervention Program is a community-based program that operates during the school year. The primary purpose of the program is to provide ongoing support and counseling resources to youth and their families who are in need of assistance addressing academic underachievement, truancy, and counseling. It provides twelve weeks of free case management services to youth and their families via an assigned specialist who works directly with the family to meet their individual needs through office and school visits. The enrollment deadline is February 20th of each year. Space is limited.
Youth are eligible for our free 12 week case management service if they are:
- Between the ages of 6 and 17
- Resides in a PBSO district
- Referred by a PBSO staff member or PBSO JFO Program
- Failing one or more classes and/or absent for five or more days within a grading period without an excuse
- Not currently facing criminal charges or probation
- Not currently involved in an open or pending DCF investigation/case
- Not in the foster care program
- Not struggling with substance abuse
- Not receiving services elsewhere
- Not affiliated or associated with a gang or gang member
- Not affected by a severe mental health diagnosis
- Not in need of a psychiatric evaluation
- Not a current runaway
- Supported by a legal guardian who is willing to work in collaboration with the assigned specialist, the school, and providers to set goals and implement action plans
- Supported by a legal guardian who is willing to sign a consent form agreeing to participate
- Supported by a legal guardian who is willing to sign releases of information for school and service provider’s records that may have an indirect or direct impact on the youth’s school attendance and functioning.
Individuals who do not meet program criteria are linked to other community resources.