Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Department of Human Services

                           Youth Justice Services

Court Diversion Unit (CDU)

In November, 2011, the Dane County Department of Human Service created the CDU. CDU Intake Social Workers have the primary responsibility to perform all assessments on law enforcement referrals screened to be assessed for deferred prosecution. In most cases, when a Deferred Prosecution Agreement is signed and accepted by the District Attorney, CDU Ongoing Social Workers will monitor the progress of these cases. In cases where formal court supervision is the final disposition, transfer to a formal ongoing unit may occur.


Formal Intake Unit

When Law Enforcement referrals are screened as appropriate for formal court involvement, referrals are sent to to the Formal Intake Unit. Social Workers in these units perform the same assessment work. If a DPA is the final case outcome, transfer to the CDU for supervision may occur. The Formal Intake Unit covers Custody Intake when a new referral results in a youth being placed in secure custody at the Juvenile Reception Center (JRC), or Non-Secure Custody status at Shelter or Home.  A custody hearing is held the following business day.  The Custody Intake Social Worker will go over rights, the court process, discuss recommendation options, and ask questions related to the Youth  Assessment & Screening Instrument (YASI) prescreen tool with the youth and parents.  The Custody Intake Social Worker will make a recommendation to the District Attorney regarding the filing of a petition and the need to continue a custody status.  The Custody Intake Social Worker will attend the custody hearing.  Following the custody hearing, the Intake Supervisor will assign the youth/family to an Intake Social Worker.

The Formal Intake Unit includes 2 Court Social Worker positions who are located at the Dane County Courthouse.  This office also serves as the courthouse temporary work space for DCDHS Social Workers attending court hearings or meeting with children, youth, families and/or attorneys before and after court.  Court Social Workers attend both Child Protective Services and Youth Justice court hearings when the assigned Social Workers are unable to do so, presenting the court with DCDHS recommendations and rationale for resolving the court cases.  Court Social Workers also screen all Youth Justice referrals made to DCDHS by law enforcement, file court documents and complete Juvenile Court records searches on behalf of other DCDHS Social Workers.


Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPA)

A DPA is a case plan created and agreed to without a formal court order. If the youth cooperates with all of the terms of the agreement, they are able to avoid a formal delinquency adjudication. DPAs are most often supervised by the CDU but may be supervised by a Formal Supervision Unit. If a youth does not cooperate with the terms of a DPA, the District Attorney may file a formal court petition.


Consent Decree

A consent decree is an agreement whereby the parties all agree to the disposition recommendations, however there is no actual finding that the youth is delinquent. The case is held open for a period of time and if there is compliance with the terms of the Consent Decree, the case is then dismissed. This is similar to the First Offenders program in adult court. If the youth violates the Consent Decree, then it is likely the case will return to court, a delinquency finding may be made and a formal court order may be entered.


Ongoing Supervision Services

If the outcome of a youth’s referral results in formal court supervision, their case will be transferred from the Formal Intake Unit to an Ongoing Youth Justice Services Unit. At this time an Ongoing Youth Justice Social Worker will be assigned to work with the youth and family. They are responsible for monitoring the progress of the case and supporting the youth in successfully completing the period of their formal court supervision.

 The Ongoing Youth Justice Social Worker will assist the youth and family in developing a case plan using the YASI Assessment and Collaborative Case Works Model. This plan will identify areas of strengths and needs to establish agreed upon outcomes. The case plan will also identify strategies, services and supports to help the youth achieve their goals.

The Ongoing Social Worker will assist the youth and family in finding and obtaining needed services and supports.

Services and supports may be both formal and informal and may address a variety of areas including but not limited to: Monitoring/Supervision, Decision Making/Problem Solving, AODA/Mental Health, Family Relationships, Community/Peers, Anger Management, School, Employment and Skill Building.

The youth’s case plan and progress are reviewed regularly during their period of supervision and changes are made as needed.
The Ongoing Youth Justice Social Worker will work with the youth and family until the youth has successfully completed their period of court supervision.

If a youth receives a new law enforcement referral during their period of supervision, their Ongoing Youth Justice Social Worker will do an updated assessment and make a recommendation to the District Attorney regarding the filing of a petition. 


Intensive Supervision

Youth Justice and Prevention (YJP) and Briarpatch, Inc. provide intensive supervision for formal, court ordered youth, both male and female. Services offered may include weekly group programming, frequent school monitoring, contacts with parents, team meetings and urine screening. Electronic monitoring may be required.


Electronic Monitoring

Electronic monitoring (EM) is a tool that may be used to more closely monitor youth, both male and female, who are under the supervision of the Juvenile Court. There must be a court order in place authorizing the use of electronic monitoring.

The YouthJustice and Prevention Intensive Ongoing (YJP IO) manages electronic monitoring for Dane County youth. Social workers refer youth to YJP IO for electronic monitoring after this service is ordered by a Commissioner or a Judge. Depending on availability, in may take 2-5 business days to facilitate EM hook up.



Out of home placements may include a relative’s home, foster home, group home, residential care centers (do not attend public school) or the most restrictive placement available to a judge, juvenile corrections. Only a judge can order an out of home placement. Out of home placements are for varying lengths of time. Out of home placements are used sparingly and only when there are no suitable alternatives.


Weekend Report Centers (WRC)

Weekend Report Center (WRC) is a consequence program for youth, both male and female, who violate their rules of supervision. Programming includes an orientation program on Friday evening at the Youth Justice and Prevention (YJP) building, a community service component on Saturday and home restriction the balance of the weekend. Youth Justice and Prevention (YJP) staff administer the program, including phone and face to face contacts. Requires a referral by a DCDHS Social Worker.



Generally, if a youth is not responding to consequences imposed by parents, school or a community supervision program, the social worker will refer a youth to the Weekend Report Center (WRC) at Youth Justice and Prevention (YJP) building. For youth on formal supervision, if that is not effective in turning things around, the Social Worker may request a court hearing so the Judge can impose court ordered sanctions, which could be days in Detention or Shelter Home, electronic monitoring, community service or loss of driver's license. Non-compliance can also lead to the court order being extended.



Extensions of formal court ordered supervision can be requested by the Social Worker. Typical reasons for extension include remaining community service hours or restitution balances, additional illegal behaviors and/or outstanding treatment needs.

Frequently Asked Questions