LAPD Youth Advocacy Program (Y.A.P.) Update

During 1989, the Town of Los Angeles Community Development Division was tasked with all the responsibility to come up with a master plan to coordinate the efforts of community-based counselling bureaus within the City of Los Angeles. In February 1990, the Commanding Officer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Juvenile Division was asked to be involved in the City of Los Angeles Advisory Taskforce to co Ordinate the efforts of creating a diversion/referral program for at risk youth. The LAPD Juvenile Division began work to unite the present LAPD Referral Plan as well as the City’s Youth Advocacy Program.

The Youth Advocacy Program (YAP) was designed to to create an early intervention system which might refer qualifying at-risk youth as well as their loved ones to referral agencies, providing treatment and counselling plans to them with all the goal of reducing unlawful actions and hard core juvenile delinquency. The program was to operate out of the Juvenile Unit of every LAPD Office.

Following Department procedures, juvenile investigators may exercise limited discretion on the disposition of juvenile offenders arrested for a criminal charge under the provisions of 602 of the Welfare and Institution Code (WIC). Typically, a petition would be requested by the investigator to the courts through the District Attorney’s Workplace as well as the Probation Division for the issue to be addressed in court. On occasion, if the violation is minor, the investigator may send the issue to a referral programme.

Juveniles who qualify for the YAP contain first and 2nd time arrestees for 601 and 602 WIC offenses, juveniles that will not be arrested but are in danger of becoming involved in unlawful behavior, juveniles cited to Juvenile Traffic Court and referred back to the citing area for counselling and/or community support, juveniles detained by the Los Angeles Fire Department for fire-environment, and juveniles who aren’t on probation/parole or who aren’t gang members. Precedence for this plan is given to arrested juveniles over non-detained referrals.

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