Special Services

The Juvenile Division provides various special services for youth and families in line with its mission of administering justice, improving public safety and repairing harms to victims and families.

The Comprehensive Study Unit has juvenile officers who investigate the backgrounds of youth coming before the court on allegations of delinquency and offer recommendations to judges. The unit handles cases in which youths have been charged with conduct that would be considered crimes if committed by an adults. Examples include shoplifting, auto theft, selling or possessing drugs, carrying weapons, assault, and property damage.

The Community Service Restitution Program seeks to hold juveniles accountable by engaging them in court-ordered community service to compensate victims for their losses. The unit works to repair harm to victims, teach youths to develop compassion and to reduce repeat offenders.

Field Units A and B supervise young people who have been placed on supervision after their cases have been adjudicated. The units work with youths and provide progress reports to judges with the goal of helping youths make productive contributions and develop a sense of belonging to their communities.

The Informal Treatment Division Services program seeks to handle referrals to the Juvenile Division informally to avoid prosecution of minor offenses such as misdemeanors. The program is designed to keep families out of the court system by connecting them with services that promote respect and strengthen families. Services include literacy, counseling, alcohol and drug treatment and violence prevention.

The Neighborhood Accountability Board program seeks to convene four to seven members of a community who intervene to address delinquency matters. NAB offers offenders opportunities to repair harms and make positive impacts on their communities.

Nightwatch is a partnership between the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the Juvenile Division of the St. Louis City Family Court. A team comprised of a police officer and juvenile officer make random home visits to ensure juveniles comply with court-imposed curfews. The program strives to reduce delinquency by increasing accountability for juveniles under supervision.

The Psychological Services Unit provides a variety of psychological, consulting and educational services to the court, youth and the community. Services include mental health screening, crisis intervention, suicide prevention assessment, consultation and training to detention and court staff as well as outpatient therapy.

The Truancy Court and Diversion Program seeks to hold parents accountable for their children’s absenteeism from school and works with parents to improve student attendance. Parents are required to provide their children’s attendance record for judges to review, discuss and set further court dates. Parents can be fined or charged with a misdemeanor for knowingly allowing children to miss school without documented excuses.

The Victim-Offender Dialogue Program allows victims and offenders to meet safely in the presence of a mediator to discuss what happened and work to repair relationships. Often, the parties may agree to restitution or community services to resolve conflicts. Dialogue creates opportunities to talk and answer questions only the parties involved can provide.

The mission of the Youth Diversion Program is to keep youths out of the court system while keeping families in tact through offering a range of services that provide tools needed to promote mutual respect for others and strengthen the family unit. Services offered are child-centered and family-focused in cases involving incorrigibility, chronic runaways and truancy.