History of Juvenile Restitution Program

In 1971, the City of San Antonio established the "Youth Services Project," now known as the Youth Services Division, under the Department of Human Resources and Services (currently the Department of Community Initiatives). The program was funded through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and was operated by the City as a delinquency prevention agency by diverting first time Class C misdemeanor and juvenile status offenders from the local juvenile justice system.

Three community based youth centers were established in public housing projects in the "Model Cities Area," a ten square mile sector in west San Antonio. This project was cited as an exemplary model program by the federal government in 1972, and as a result, the program expanded to all geographic quadrants of the city. In 1977, the City of San Antonio assumed complete funding of the project and officially renamed the agency as the Youth Services Division.

Today, the division operates six diversion sites located geographically throughout the city. Services are provided to troubled youth to help prevent further behavior that could lead to possible adjudication and commitment. The division also operates the Juvenile Restitution Program which places juvenile Class C misdemeanor offenders in community/public service. Also offered is the Runaway Intervention Program which provides crisis intervention for families who report their children as missing.