REACH is a diversionary program for youth from the juvenile justice system. REACH operates with the belief that running away from home is not a criminal act which should be punished by arrest, lock up, or a delinquency record. Rather, it is a symptom of problems which can often be solved with the help of caring professionals.
While REACH cooperates fully with police and the courts, no young person or family is required to accept services from the REACH program.
Law enforcement officers, schools, parents/guardians and/or youth can make direct contact with REACH for shelter and/or family counseling. This lessens tranportation time for law enforcement and the needless processing of youth through the juvenile justice system.
While REACH serves as an alternative to juvenile justice processing, Family Court intervention is utilized in approximately seven to ten percent of REACH cases. This occurs when REACH intervention alone is not sufficient to provide resolution of the family problem. In these cases, the Family Court allows REACH to file a petition directly to Court for additional assistance. This avoids police arrest and paperwork; utilizes the approach of least restraint and restrictiveness; and, permits case specific recommendations to the Court for subsequent intervention.