The Delaware Children’s Department will conduct a training event for Delaware law enforcement officers about the Juvenile Civil Citation Program beginning at 9 a.m. June 19 at Delaware Technical & Community College, Georgetown Campus, Carter Partnership Center lecture hall, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown.

The Juvenile Civil Citation Program began in Delaware in late 2015 and is designed to allow juvenile offenders of certain misdemeanor crimes to avoid formal arrest and involvement with the Family Court by allowing law enforcement officers to issue a civil citation. Juvenile offenders are required to do community service hours and complete other goals before being released from the program.

“Before the Civil Citation Program, law enforcement officers had little leeway in handling misdemeanor violations” said Juvenile Civil Citation program manager Donna Pugh, “a juvenile arrest for a relatively minor offense could place the youth on probation with a subsequent arrest for another minor misdemeanor leading to a violation of probation charge and deeper involvement with the justice system. The Juvenile Civil Citation Program greatly alleviates the recidivism rate and helps keeps youth with their families and in their schools and communities.”

The training will feature a panel discussion about the program. The afternoon session will focus on the expansion of misdemeanor offenses that will be eligible effective July 1.

Since the inception of the Juvenile Civil Citation Program, more than 1,000 youth have participated with a 91% completion rate. Residents of Kent and Sussex counties combine for 55% of referrals to the program.

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