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Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP)

Setting a Positive Course

The Detention Diversion Advocacy Program (DDAP) works to reduce the disproportionate number of minority youth arraigned through the juvenile court system. Offered through Suffolk and Hampden Counties’ Juvenile Courts, Judges refer youth to DDAP at their discretion. Youth can also be referred to DDAP by their attorney, probation, school resource officer/counselor, guardian etc. The program provides community-based support and supervision and helps youth establish positive goals and live to their fullest potential. We serve all ethnicities, cultures, sexual orientations, and gender identities, offering inclusive and equitable services to all youth, including LGBTQIA+ youth.

Our Youth Advocates provide intensive support, including accompanying youth to scheduled court dates, participating in school visits, providing employment assistance, and facilitating enrichment and recreational activities.

DDAP provides judges with a ‘third option’ where youth will receive close supervision while avoiding the dangers of detention, and helps ensure that positive pathways remain available to our youth of color.

Program Objectives

  1. Reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the use of secure detention by providing the courts with an effective program alternative for minority youth to remain in the community while they await further court proceedings.

  2. Take steps to ensure that youth return to court for all subsequent court proceedings.

  3. Closely monitor, engage, and support youth (and their families) to ensure that the court-ordered conditions of release are adhered to.

  4. Reduce the likelihood of subsequent delinquent behavior resulting in deeper juvenile justice system involvement.

Our Approach

Increasing Success

DDAP is an evidence-informed model designed to provide improved outcomes for court-involved youth by advocating for youth at their disposition hearings and implementing individual service plans addressing personal, social, educational, and wellness needs. DDAP offers an effective approach to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in the juvenile justice system through coordinated prevention and intervention efforts and trauma-informed, focused case management.


Using a Positive Youth Development framework, we provide services to youth to decrease rates of Failures to Appear in court and incarceration, while connecting them to pro-social, future oriented programming in their home communities.

We're here for you. Contact Us:

DDAP Hampden County
Holyoke, MA

Juliet Ochoa
413-657-6424

Email

DDAP Suffolk County
Boston, MA

Kayla Ortiz, LSWA
774-418-2499

Email

Personal Story

Meet William

William was referred to DDAP after being charged with a felony assault and battery involving a schoolmate. His limited English language skills complicated his appearance in court, as well as other aspects of his life, and DDAP immediately paired William with a bilingual advocate who helped him understand the court proceedings. We also worked with his family to ensure services were in place to promote his academic success and connect him with supportive services in the local community.

William had been teased at his previous school—and perhaps bullied at times—about his limited English. With assistance from his DDAP advocate and his

attorney, he was placed in a new school setting that could support his academic, emotional, and linguistic needs. William proudly told us that now he is helping a new student who recently immigrated and has limited English learn how to navigate school.

William successfully completed the DDAP program, his charges in court were resolved, and he remains at home with his family. His parents report he is doing well and are impressed with the progress he has made. By building on William’s strengths—he exudes positive energy and is always willing to learn new things—DDAP helped him stay out of detention and take constructive steps forward.

Urgent. Essential. Appreciated.

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