139 Kids and the Law There must be proof that the child knew about the crime and intended to par- ticipate in breaking the law. What happens in court after an arrest or a clerk’s hearing? A child should always appear in court with a parent or guardian. Once they arrive in court, they report to the juvenile probation department for an “intake interview.” A probation officer interviews the child and the parent or guardian to get background information. Courts have a variety of diversion programs to make it possible for a child who has been charged with specific delinquent acts to avoid the formal court pro- cess. By agreeing to enter such a program, the child may be required to per- form community service, pay for damages the child caused or participate in services, such as an anger management program. Certain juvenile cases can be referred to diversion prior to arraignment. There are three ways this can happen: 1. The ADA can divert. 2. The judge can divert. 3. A youth, through their attorney, can request diversion. If the child is referred to diversion prior to arraignment, it does not go on the child’s record. A child can also be referred to a community-based restorative justice program* prior to arraignment if the child, the ADA, and alleged victim agree. (This type of referral can be made even after arraignment.) * A restorative justice program is an alternative to the criminal justice system and is based on bringing together the alleged victim, the offender and the com- munity to repair relationships harmed by an offense and understand the impact of the offense charged. If a child is referred to a restorative justice program, they must accept responsibility for the offense. Certain offenses cannot be referred to restorative justice. Delinquent Children 11