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Juvenile Unit

Juvenile OfficerThe Juvenile Unit uses a unique combination of law enforcement and clinical social work to provide prevention and early intervention services to youth and their families in Redwood City. Early intervention strategies are critical to the prevention of many of the negative outcomes that youth in our community might experience: drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, school failure and school dropout, and delinquency.

Members of the Juvenile Unit coordinate and supervise the Diversion Services.  Diversion is a program designed to keep first-offenders out of the court system. The concept of diversion is based on the theory that processing first time offending youth through the juvenile justice system for non-violent minor crimes may do more harm than good.  If the participants complete the six month Diversion Program successfully, the charges against them are dropped and they will have no court records.

Juvenile Specialist Manuel Velarde handles incidents and issues that involve crimes committed by and against minors.   He is the field supervisor for the Internship Program. Interns from the counseling and clinical social work programs at San Francisco State, San Jose State and CAL State East Bay universities provide direct services to at risk youth offenders.  Velarde also coordinates the Gang Prevention Program. The program is designed to help youth recognize the negative and adverse impact of gangs in their lives.  Two major components of the program are the Gang Prevention Classes and   the Redwood City Police Department Tattoo Removal Program.

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