The Alternatives to the Court Experience (ACE) is a diversion program that works in tandem with the Office of the Attorney General Office (OAG), the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and Court Social Services (CSS) and functions as the single front door for all diversions from the District’s juvenile justice entities. Under the appropriate circumstances, the government elects to not prosecute youth who allegedly commit status offenses (e.g. truancy and running away) and/or low-level delinquency offenses. The overarching goal of ACE is to reduce the number of court-involved youth up to 18 years old by providing youth with services and community supports instead of prosecution.
ACE assesses the needs of diverted youth, links youth and their families with appropriate services, and monitors successful program participation. The goal of the program is to help youth and their families address the underlying issues causing the negative behaviors while minimizing the likelihood of reoffending and giving youth the opportunity to avoid acquiring a juvenile record. It is a voluntary program, not probation, although not participating in ACE may result in prosecution.
Youth who successfully complete the ACE program have:
- No court involvement
- Reduced likelihood of reoffending
- Assistance addressing the issues causing the negative behaviors
- Support to reengage in school and meet academic and attendance requirements
- Improved functioning at home and in the community
Note: Referrals to the ACE program only come through MPD or OAG.
Referrals to the ACE program are only made by MPD or OAG.
If you have questions about the ACE program, please send an email to:
Contact Phone: (202) 698-4334 Monday through Friday 8:15am-4:45pm
Contact Fax: (202) 478-5747
Contact TTY: 711