First Time Offender Program

The First Time Offender Program is designed for youth ages 13-18 and their parent/guardian.

During the 14 hour program the youth and their parent/guardian attend groups together.  The groups are interactive and encourage participation through a variety of activities.

The topics addressed include the following: Communication, Family Dynamics, Smart Choices, Juvenile System, Values and Core Beliefs, and Substance Use.

Referral Process:  Referrals are received through the local Juvenile Court System, Public Schools, and Self Referrals.

First Time Offender Program is a closed, educationally based 14-hour group that by design is both diversionary and preventative.  The First Time Offender Program curriculum, It’s My Life, was designed to teach and/or enhance a variety of skills that will not only minimize the likelihood of youthful re-offending; but most importantly, will improve the likelihood that the participants will make better life choices, experience healthier family dynamics, and an improved sense of self-competency.  Since family members generally play a key role in the lives of youth referred to the program, at least one parent/legal guardian or alternate parenting-adult is required to attend all sessions with the referred youth.

The It’s My Life curriculum is most appropriate for ages 13-18, although it can be modified for younger youth.

The First-Time Offender Program consumers and their families benefit from the integration of several evidence-based methodologies and practices within the program delivery.  Program facilitators are encouraged to employ empirically supported, research-derived practices and to remain informed regarding developments in the field.  First-Time Offender Program Facilitators may utilize a number of identified intervention strategies/practices, which may be research supported.  Those practices may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Youth entering the program receive individual assessments, which can tailor their experience within the First-Time Offender Program. Additionally, the individual assessment may be used to identify appropriate referrals for additional interventions such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy; individual, family or group counseling; or other rehabilitative or psycho-educational services.
  • First Time Offender Program is highly structured.
  • Facilitators work to change youth cognitions in order to change delinquent behavior.
  • The Program is structured to address risk factors within CORE areas such as communication, emotional regulation, and decision-making.
  • Parents and/or other family members participate in the Program.
  • The facilitator together with the youth may review assigned homework.
  • Repeated practice of selected skills.
  • Use of Rewards and Contracts.

Program - Expected Outcomes

The Outcomes standards for First Time Offender Program are as follows:

1. Effectiveness – In order to meet effectiveness standards, First Time Offender Program shall strive to achieve a recidivism rate of less than 20%.

2.Efficiency – In order to meet efficiency standards, First Time Offender Program shall strive to achieve at least an 80% annual rate of completion for youth starting the program.

3. Program Evaluation – In order measure the First Time Offender Program impacts and efficacy, each Youth and their parent/legal guardian or family participant will complete the First Time Offender Program Evaluation Survey at three time points.

  • Time 1 - during Intake
  • Time 2 - Session 1 before exposed to session content
  • Time 3 – upon completion of the last session of curriculum content

4. Client Satisfaction – In order to meet client satisfaction standards, each Youth and their parent/legal guardian or family participant will complete a client satisfaction survey, when possible.

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