Recidivism studies of juveniles who participated in Project Youth OCBF’s diversion programs (SHORTSTOP, Programa SHORTSTOP, and STOP SHORT of Addiction – English and Spanish versions) prove that the programs work to keep youth from further involvement in the criminal justice system. The basis for these studies is to determine if the youth we serve are referred to probation for a new law violation within a year of completing our programs.

Tracking approximately 1,150 youth for a year, results showed that youth who pass Project Youth diversion programs are less likely to have a referral to probation in the year following their program completion than youth who fail the program. One-year referral rates for these program completers averaged 12.9%.  By contrast, the one-year referral rates for the program failures averaged over 52.5%.

These results continue to underscore Project Youth’s positive outcomes with the at-risk youth who successfully complete Project Youth’s early intervention programs.


SHORTSTOP is a unique juvenile crime diversion program that has served juvenile offenders and their families since 1980. In 1989, Programa SHORTSTOP was developed as a cultural adaption Spanish language version of SHORTSTOP.

As a cost-effective, comprehensive alternative to prosecution, SHORTSTOP utilizes effective, science-based models for reducing delinquency among youth. The program incorporates a strong restorative justice plan, which makes for a highly effective diversion program. SHORTSTOP teaches youth offenders to take responsibility for their actions through decision-making strategies designed to result in positive future choices.

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STOP SHORT of Addiction

Developed in 1999 in response to increasing rates of youth substance use and crime in Orange County, STOP SHORT of Addiction provides intensive, state-certified substance abuse services to youth drug offenders or drug users. Based on our successful SHORTSTOP model, STOP SHORT of Addiction provides an alternative to incarceration that includes group substance abuse treatment, intensive legal education, and an individualized restorative justice plan.

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Support Project Youth

At Project Youth OCBF, we are proud of our long history of serving at-risk youth and their families. As we do so, we continue to seek private and public funds to support the valuable youth programs that we have sustained for over 30 years.

We greatly appreciate any new support we can gain. If you are interested in making a donation, please contact our Executive Director, Karen Ruan, at (714) 480-1925, ext. 101 or kruan@pyocbf.org.