Renville County has had a formal juvenile and adult diversion program in place since 1996. Approximately 50 % of all juvenile petitioned cases are referred directly to the Court Services Office. Records are kept at the District Court Administrator Office and Court Services. In recent years, an average of ten adult misdemeanor/gross misdemeanor cases are referred to court services for diversion. An annual statistical report is filed with the county attorney office.
Court Services is involved in community outreach and crime prevention. Court Services coordinates a criminal justice team, which includes the chambered judge, probation agent, county attorney, local law enforcement, school officials, and bus drivers. Through the course of any year, we do presentations in elementary and high schools addressing issues of bullying behavior, drug abuse, gang activity, weapons, and violence. Beyond these presentations, court services and the chambered judge do child education programs for young parents through ECFE community education classes. The judge and probation agent also do leadership programs for senior high students.
Efforts by the county to curb out-of-home placements in delinquency or CHPS cases have met with some success. Through our local area children's mental health collaborative, we have two full time In-Home Family Therapists working with families of high-risk youth. One therapist is dedicated strictly to delinquent youth. The therapist is in weekly review contact with the probation officer and sees the families two to three times per week.
Court Services meets monthly with Human Services professionals to review all at risk delinquent cases for possible placement out of the home or for home/ community based alternatives.
There are no adult or adolescent residential chemical dependency treatment programs, group homes, transition homes, halfway houses or crisis centers in Renville County. Our county has one satellite mental health counseling office in Olivia, Minn. The county has a limited number of foster homes. All of the major resources to address significant chemical abuse or mental health issues are located and contracted in neighboring counties. Court Services utilizes client programming state wide on an ''as needed" basis.