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Diversion & Restitution Program
Program Overview
Established in 1982, the Needham Youth Services' (formerly known as the Needham Youth Commission) Diversion and Restitution Program provides the opportunity for youth who commit minor violations of the law to participate in community service work.

The program works with youth under the philosophy that an offense can provide an opportunity for the offender to learn from the incident and turn a negative situation into an educational event.

Primary Objective
In conjunction with the Needham Police Department and/or the Dedham District Court, we work with the offenders and their families with the primary objectives of preventing further court involvement and providing them with an opportunity to develop a positive learning experience out of a mistake.

Intake Meeting
Participants who are referred from the courts or police, and along with their parents, attend an intake meeting. At this meeting youth and their parent or parents meet with the program coordinator to learn about the Diversion and Restitution Program.

At this meeting they also sign program related forms / documents, and explore different aspects of their offense including the events leading up to and the motivations for committing the offense. Recommendations for additional services may be made at this time.

Community Service
Performing community service gives youth time to ponder the direct relationship between their actions and the consequences which followed. Participants will hopefully leave the program with a sense of accomplishment for the work performed and with the skills to think twice before violating the law in the future.

Participants perform community service at one of the typical designated placement sites:
  • Needham Fire Station
  • Needham Public Library
  • Needham Town Hall

Participant's work and hours are closely monitored by the Youth Commission and the site supervisor. After their community service hours are completed, participants alone and/or with their parent or parents meet with the program coordinator to review the participant's experience, discuss the evaluation form completed by the work site supervisor, and complete police and/or court required paperwork.

In a typical year between 500 and 1000 hours of community service are provided to town departments.

Additional Information
The Diversion and Restitution Program is offered free to Needham residents and is strictly confidential. For more information or to learn more about this program, please contact Jon Mattleman at 781-455-7500 x265.