Pennington County Truancy Intervention Program is an alternative to the Juvenile Justice System.
It is a voluntary program designed to help students and families reduce truant behavior.
Truancy can be a life-long problem: The most far reaching consequences for truancy are not the court sanctions.
Children who do not attend school are more likely to become involved in delinquent and ultimately criminal behaviors.
These young people are severely limiting their opportunities. The Pennington County Truancy Intervention Program addresses
the root causes of truant behavior and links students and families to needed social services or other community-based supports.
What is Truancy? Truancy is any absence (by a student under the age of 18) for part or all of one or more days from school
during which the school has NOT been notified of the legal cause of the absence by the parent/guardian of the absent student.
Once a student has accumulated five unexcused absent days, it is the policy of the Rapid City Area School District to refer
the name of that student to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Middle School and High School Program:
Truancy Workshop: The first step of the program. It is attended by the student and parent or guardian. Truancy Laws and goal
setting are discussed. A contract is signed at the end of the workshop. The student’s attendance will be monitored for 30 days.
Truancy Court: Students that continue to be absent will be required to appear in Truancy Court. Truancy Court is an informal court
attended by a 7th Circuit Judge, Juvenile Diversion Staff, School Administration, the student and parent/guardian. The team will
develop a plan to get the student back to school and on the path to graduate. The student is placed on a contract for 60 days.
They are required to check in weekly with a Juvenile Diversion Staff member until the contract expires.
Extensive Case Management: The final effort to keep the case out of formal court. The Juvenile Diversion staff will work closely
with the family and monitor attendance daily. If the student continues to be absent the case will be sent back for formal charges.
Elementary School Program:
Family Meetings: Truancy among elementary aged children is generally due to family issues.
The Juvenile Diversion staff works closely with elementary students and their families to connect them with
community resources that may be needed to overcome whatever issues the family is facing. The family meets
with a Juvenile Diversion staff member and school administration. They are required to sign a contract and
the student’s attendance is monitored for 60 days. If the student continues to be absent, the parents can be
charged in Magistrate Court for failing to send their child to school.
School Mentors: In the fall of 2012 we will begin partnering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters
to provide mentors to at-risk elementary students. Students will meet weekly with their mentors after school
on early release days. The mentoring program is about starting a friendship, providing guidance and inspiring
them to reach their potential.
For questions or additional information please contact:
Nicole Moore or Cody Raterman
Juvenile Diversion Program
Pennington County States Attorney’s Office
300 Kansas City Street, Suite 400
Rapid City, SD 57701