Public Safety Youth Programs

Denver Public Safety Youth Programs (PSYP) function as a partnership between the community, private and government organizations to promote positive youth diversion and intervention programs. Youth programs serve thousands of youth and families each year through a number of prevention and intervention services.

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Juvenile Services Center


Prevention programs involve partnering with community organizations and schools to implement and support culturally responsive and proven programs.

Public Safety Youth Leadership Team

The Public Safety Youth Leadership Team (PSYLT) provides young people with an opportunity to provide their voice, perspective, and solutions to issues impacting youth. YLT members are between the ages of 14-24, are hired as a city employee, and serve as a youth advisory group for Department of Safety and the city's Youth Violence Prevention Action Table.  The YLT also provides peer mentoring support for youth ages 9-13. 

The Youth Leadership Summit 

The all-day summit is designed to give youth an opportunity to discuss issues they face, support programs and policies that better the lives of youth within the Denver-metro area, and develop an ongoing partnership within the community.

Youth Summit sponsors and participants challenge young people to engage in meaningful dialogue with city leaders about issues ranging from health, safety, secondary education, and job readiness. Since its inception, the youth summit has been attended by over 15,000 youth and adults. 

For additional information contact Theresa Kimmet at 720 913-4622 or

Community Partnership Program

The Community Partnership Program provides funding and technical support to community-based organizations that are, or intend, to facilitate evidence-based programs that address risk factors that contribute to youth delinquency.

Secondary Prevention

Safety Youth Programs provides access to secondary prevention services to reduce high risk behavior and prevent system involvement.

Runaway Outreach Notification and Intervention Project

RONI caseworkers conduct outreach to youth and their families within 24-48 hours of receiving a run report.  An assessment will be completed with the youth and/ or the family to determine services needed for both the youth, and the family.  Partnered with external community organizations, the overall goal is to learn the reason for the youth running and preventing future running.

Caseworkers continue regular engagement with the family and youth to determine if resources are working, or if additional services need to be provided. There is no cost to the family for this program. 

Community Resources (including but not limited to): 

  • Tutoring
  • Mentoring
  • Individual/family therapy
  • Sports
  • Drug treatment
  • Public transportation vouchers
  • Food box distribution 
  • Clothing
  • School Supplies 

If you are unsure whether or not to contact police, reach out to RONI Program Manager, Beth McNalley at (720) 913-4618 or Beth.McNalley@Denvergov.Org.


Voluntary Diversion Program

The Voluntary Diversion Program serves as a prevention program that helps address the needs of young people who are engaging in delinquent behavior and are at risk of entering the juvenile justice system without some sort of intervention.  The process works the same as the Municipal Juvenile Diversion Program in that an assessment is completed and a diversion plan is created to include services that will address root-issue causes of delinquent behavior.  

All services that are available to youth on court-related diversion are also available to youth on voluntary diversion, including:

  • Anger management/conflict resolution
  • Drug and alcohol classes
  • Gang intervention and family workshops

Referrals to the program come from a variety of sources including parents, school officials and police officers to name a few. 

Parents and schools can make a referral by contacting us via email or by calling (720) 913-4620. 

Alternative to Citation Program

In partnership with the Denver Police Department and Denver Public Schools, Public Safety Youth Programs launched the Alternative to Citation (ATC) Program to reduce the number of citations issued on school grounds. The ATC program diverts students who engage in behavior that would traditionally result in a municipal citation without creating an arrest record or involving juvenile court. Thisis an important strategy to help disrupt the school-to prison pipeline which occurs when students are pushed out of the classroom and into the juvenile justice system in response to negative behavior.


Helping Youth Pursue Excellence (HYPE) Program

The Helping Youth Pursue Excellence (HYPE) Program is a comprehensive vocational training program that gives participants a chance to earn while they learn. The 10-week program is designed to provide participants with a well-rounded experience that builds their work-related skills to improve their chances of securing long-term employment. Clients are employed directly through The Urban Farm in this one of a kind collaboration project and are paid on a bi-weekly basis.

In addition to daily programming HYPE will facilitate job readiness training and will provide ongoing case management to support a successful transition into the workforce as programming concludes. Certified financial advisors with the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) will facilitate financial literacy sessions on banking, budgeting, and credit to help participants establish good financial habits and develop an individualized financial plan. Participants will also learn about educational and career opportunities that are available through the Community College of Denver (CCD) and will be introduced to department staff who can assist with enrollment and financial aid via the Education Opportunity Center.  

Municipal Juvenile Diversion Program

The Municipal Juvenile Diversion Program targets youth in violation of city laws such as trespassing, curfew violations, and shoplifting.  The goal of the diversion program is to identify any underlying issues that may serve as barriers for youth being productive and successful members of the community. 

Diversion serves an alternative to the traditional court process, and successful completion of the program results in case dismissal without a guilty plea.  Diversion is a short-term intervention strategy that provides an opportunity to identify youth at highest risk for continued delinquent behavior at the lowest level in Denver’s juvenile justice system. 


  • Reduce recidivism rates for participants
  • Incorporate positive youth development principles into the framework of diversion
  • Partner with and support community-based agencies to provide effective services for youth and families 

The overall 2011 recidivism rate for Municipal Court Diversion Program was 11% for the entire 12-months.  By comparison, those youth not completing Diversion had a recidivism rate of 22%.

Colorado Youth Detention Continuum (CYDC) Program

The Colorado Youth Detention Continuum (CYDC) Program team will provide detention screening and pre-trial release services for youth charged with a misdemeanor and/or felony in Denver Juvenile Court.

Human Trafficking Multidisciplinary Team

Leveraging existing resources, Public Safety Youth Programs implemented an outreach program that focuses on youth referred by the DATA MDT. This program fills a gap in outreach and case management services for youth who are at high risk of exploitation. The outreach team utilizes a victim-centered approach that is trauma responsive and tailored to the needs of the youth and family.