To help ensure that our schools remain safe havens of learning and to promote greater accountability regarding juvenile offenders, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey has developed a comprehensive strategy of violence prevention, prosecution and community assistance.
Specialized Juvenile Unit
District Attorney Morrissey has assembled a specialized unit of prosecutors, administrators and victim advocates to address juvenile delinquency, bring violent youthful offenders to justice and to assist victims, school systems and communities impacted by juvenile crime.
Juvenile Justice Roundtables
Through these confidential forums, the District Attorney brings together school administrators, police officers, prosecutors, and representatives from the Departments of Probation, Youth Services and Children and Families to share information about court-involved and at-risk youth. These professionals work together to maintain school safety by developing early intervention strategies, connecting students to appropriate services, monitoring student progress and ensuring compliance with court directives.
Information and Educational Programs
The Norfolk District Attorney's Juvenile Unit provides information and educational programs to local schools and community organizations. Recent topics have included violence prevention, alcohol and drug abuse, teen dating violence, tolerance, respect, harassment, civil rights issues, bullying and internet safety.
Responsible Decision Making Seminars
The Norfolk District Attorney's Office brings panel presentations about the Massachusetts criminal justice system to local classrooms to help students make more informed decisions. Using a series of fictitious scenarios, panel members explain their respective roles in the criminal justice process, how commonplace situations can have legal implications, the potential consequences of certain types of conduct, and the importance of sound decisions before, during and after problems arise.
Safe Schools Doctrines
The Norfolk District Attorney's Office develops standard communication protocols and procedures to maintain school safety through the prompt notification of law enforcement authorities when incidents of violence, weapons and controlled substance possession occur on school grounds, and when questions arise regarding incidents of inappropriate and potentially criminal conduct. Agreements are signed by school superintendents, police chiefs and the District Attorney.
Project Prom Sense & Operation Graduation
To help keep students safe during prom and graduation season, the Norfolk District Attorney's Office helps sponsor safe, responsible and alcohol-free post-prom and post-graduation activities and events administered by local school systems, parent groups and community organizations. Information and educational materials are provided by the District Attorney's Office for students, families and school administrators.
Alternative to Prosecution (A.T.P.) Pilot Program
On a selective basis, qualifying, first-time, non-violent youth are given an opportunity to resolve pending matters through an appropriate combination of alternative "intermediate sanctions." Individualized dispositions are designed to promote restorative justice, early intervention, personal responsibility, and meaningful consequences for conduct and may include counseling, community service, academic tutoring, anger management sessions, life skills instruction and substance abuse treatment.
Young Women Lunch Series
To complement school-based career exploration and self-esteem programs for young women, the Norfolk District Attorney's Office invites female professionals from law enforcement and other fields into school settings to meet with adolescent girls at small, informal luncheons. Designed primarily for middle school grade levels, this pilot program seeks to reach out to young women during a time of academic and social transition, introduce them to challenging and diverse career options and reinforce the link between education and employment. Topics of discussion include career choices, the importance of education and goal setting, community involvement, leadership and respect for self and others.
For additional information, please contact the Norfolk District Attorney's Juvenile Unit at 781.389.0939.