Fresh Start Program Provides New Perspective to At-Risk Youth

“When I make bad choices, I have no control over the consequences.”

These twelve words are the mantra repeated over and over throughout the day by participants in the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Fresh Start Program. The Fresh Start Program is a juvenile diversionary and prevention program that targets at-risk youth and first time offenders between the ages of 12-17.

This program’s objective is to help prevent juveniles from committing future crimes by allowing them to experience:

  • real life jail conditions
  • emotional hardships while in jail
  • judicial consequences of criminal acts
“You do not want to continue making choices that will lead you here. You can do better than this.”
DFC Jones spoke individually to each participant on Saturday just before they were fingerprinted and “booked” into the jail.

The Fresh Start Program is operated by members of the Juvenile Unit in partnership with detention deputies at the jail. It is offered free of charge.

The program is open to youth with limited criminal activity, but those with a civil citations, notice to appears, or first-time offenders are accepted after an evaluation of need. The program is held on Saturday mornings, and are scheduled after a list of potential attendees is compiled.

If you are the parent or caregiver to an at-risk child and are interested in our Fresh Start program, please contact the child’s School Resource Officer. You can also reach a member of our Juvenile Unit by emailing

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