Learn About... Diversion and Prevention


The Leelanau County Family Court Diversion/Prevention Program is a support program for Leelanau County youth, 17 years or younger, who may be at risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system.  A referral source such as the Sheriff’s department, the prosecuting attorney’s office, a school official, a family member, or the community may identify youths at risk.  Each and every referral to the Family Court is handled under strict rules of confidentiality.  The Court sponsors these programs for youths and their families with the understanding that investing in early intervention promotes positive change. The Court breaks down referrals into two categories, Diversion and Prevention.


Diversion is a referral program that allows certain first-time offenders accused of non-violent crimes an alternative to formal court involvement.  Several factors are considered in the decision to divert, including the youth’s age, willingness to cooperate, and the nature of the offense.  If diversion is recommended, the parents and youth will be required to meet with the diversion counselor, and to draw up a diversion contract.  This program emphasizes educating the young person about the law, accountability, and promotes positive youth development.  The youth’s compliance with terms of the contract is monitored by Court staff.


Prevention is a referral program for the early identification of youths who are experiencing behavior problems, or other issues that have the potential to lead to Court involvement.  The goal of this program is to provide services to the youth and his/her family by identifying problem areas and addressing these needs with the youth, family, and school. Prevention programs utilize a Risk and Protective factor model in addressing issues while promoting positive youth development.  This can be accomplished through counseling, referrals to other service providers, mentoring, and more. 

To make a referral or get more information about these programs, contact:

Leelanau Diversion/Prevention Program
Leelanau County Family Court
8527 E Government Center Dr., Ste. 203
Suttons Bay, MI  49682

Telephone (231) 256-9803

This page last updated on 8/7/2023.