Founded in 2008, Alton Juvenile Diversion, allows first time youth offenders a second chance through rehabilitative and work programs with mentorship.  This grassroots collaborative effort of Alton area businesses, schools, churches, organizations and agencies works to reach our next generation. By reaching our youth with a message of right choices we help them stay out of juvenile lock-ups like the one pictured here in Madison County, Illinois and their personal lives out of the criminal justice system. 


A very special "Thank YOU" goes out to Rev. Tim Stark for his many years of youth work here in Madison County which led to his founding of the very first Juvenile Diversion of Madison County. See his story from those early days at the bottom of our page. God bless you Rev. Tim Stark in this next chapter of your life. 


While we are extending our "Thank YOU" and appreciation we would be remiss if we failed to recognize Scott Cooper, Madison County Probation & Court Services along with Dustin Christner, Alton Police Department. Both of these men have served with a "whatever it takes" level of commitment to reach our next generation. Both have served this program since its inception. God bless you both!

For more information on this exciting program, please contact:

Alton Juvenile Diversion @ 618-463-2407

Alton Speaker's Bureau
Southernwestern Illinois Correctional Center
Madison County Probation & Court Services
New Beginnings Outreach International
Lewis & Clark Community College
Illinois Department of Corrections
Alton Juvenile Diversion Alumni
Madison County Sheriff's Office
Alton Public School District
Alton Police Department
Calvary Baptist Church
Drug Free Alton

Madison County Sheriff's Office & Juvenile Diversion @ AHS

Madison County Court - April 2017 (Post Graduation Photo)

Alton Juvenile Diversion - January 2017 (Post Meeting Photo)

Serving Our Alton Schools

(Pictured Left - Right)
Chaplain Marc Lane
Alton Police Department
Juvenile Diversion Director 

Pastor Darrin "SluggerRoo" Williams
Sergeant Dustin Christner
Alton Police Department

Daily we hear of a barrage of tragedies at the hands of juvenile violence and crime. One million young people under 18 years of age appear in juvenile courts for delinquency or status offenses each year. The Alton  Juvenile Diversion Program was established in 2008 to encourage and guide these young people to become aware of their future and develop the necessary skills needed to succeed. The Diversion Program has developed a balanced program of meetings and activities, which include combining community service with learning about the court and legal system, conflict resolution, making better choices and planning for their future.

Juvenile Diversion Program
This is a pre-trial program for minors providing first time offenders a positive alternative to juvenile court. Young offenders facing criminal charges will have the opportunity to participate in the program which, through structured activities aims to: improve attitude, self-image, self-esteem, better methods of communication, conflict resolution, goal setting, career planning, developing positive relationships and preventing a decision to break the law again. Upon completion of the program graduates are invited to serve in an intern role providing an example to current students of the program.

Who’s Eligible?
Referrals to the program are made by law enforcement agencies of our Madison County communities. Participants are typically between the ages of ten and seventeen. Other factors include; prior criminal convictions, severity of the offense, facts sustaining proof of the alleged offense, and surrounding circumstances. Once a referral has contacted the Alton Juvenile Diversion Office an intake interview is scheduled with the youth & his/her parent(s) or guardian(s).

Interview Process
An interview consists of a written questionnaire as well as an interview with the youth, a parent or guardian and the Alton Juvenile Diversion Director. Upon completion of an interview and with consensus of the diversion staff, the youth and parent or guardian, a diversion contract must be signed by the youth and parent before admission.
Successful Completion
Upon successfully completing the program requirements, the alleged offense will be dismissed by the municipalities. However, should a youth not meet the program requirements; they will be redirected to the charging agency, which typically results in prosecution. Over 85% of those completing the program do not re-offend within 12 months of graduation.

Giving Back
All participants are required to complete 40 hours of pre-approved community service to their local area.
Meeting Topics, These and more…
Madison County Courthouse Tour
Induction and Graduation proceedings and a discussion of program requirements with a Judge, Prosecutor and Law Enforcement personnel.

Benefits of volunteering and giving to their community, Discussion of the community service requirement and the alternative of Saturday group projects

Self Esteem
Co-ed program to build positive self-esteem and the importance of healthy life choices

Careers and Future Planning
Career planning, interviewing techniques, completing job applications, proper dress, and how to keep a job
Sexual Health
Resources concerning a student’s sexual health and the risks associated with sexual activity as Juveniles.

Drugs and Alcohol
Realities of Drug and Alcohol usage, medical and legal effects of substance abuse

Volunteer Involvement
Each group is staffed with volunteer adult leaders. The leaders are responsible for arranging speakers, facilitating each program meeting, providing guidance and encouragement, maintaining records and serving as a positive role model. Over 20 different volunteer resource speakers from our community will present the program features.

Program Outline
The Alton Juvenile Diversion Program serves local municipalities in providing an option of diversion to young legal offenders in order to possibly maintain a clean legal record. Youth must participate in structured group meetings focused on teaching “realities of breaking the law” and positive options for their future.
  • Meetings are held bimonthly for at least 6 months & students must complete 40 hours of community service
  • Re-offending during the program may cause both new and original offenses to be prosecuted.
  • Parental support and attendance at required meetings and activities facilitates growth of the family.
Program Benefits
By providing this opportunity, youth are given the chance to maintain a clean record. Studies show it is best to keep a first time offender out of court if at all possible. The program saves tax dollars. It also saves the cost and time of judges, prosecutors, probation officers & staff, thus allowing juvenile court more time to address more serious matters requiring court intervention.

Each youth is required to pay a $50.00 registration fee in order to participate. Financial needs are considered on a case by case basis.
For more information on the program, please contact us at (618) 463-2407.


Juvenile Diversion, Madison County, Illinois

St Louis Post Dispatch -  March 16, 2008

CYC-NET Featured Article - May 4, 2008

Madison County State's Attorney, Tom Gibbons - Media Advisory


Alton Juvenile Diversion - 2008

Alton Juvenile Diversion Facebook Page: Visit Us On Facebook