Youth Development 


Lifeline’s Youth Development programs meet the needs of youth and their families on a continuum of services that keep at-risk youth on the right track and help delinquent youth break the cycle of poverty and violence. Lifeline provides prevention and intervention services that include mental and behavioral health programs and youth support groups that focus on healthy and safe lifestyles.

Lifeline’s Youth Development programs have directly contributed to reduced juvenile detention rates in San Diego County by supporting the County’s Juvenile Justice Comprehensive Strategy. Helping at-risk youth stay out of trouble and out of custody are top priorities within the strategy, as well as meeting the complex needs of the youth who are in custody or on probation. According to San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, this strategy has resulted in a 48% reduction in juvenile incarceration from 2012-2017.

With housing and financial support, families can develop the skills needed to become self-reliant.


“We made a concerted effort in the County over a 5-year period from 2012 to 2017 – all along partnering with Lifeline Community Services as the lead agency in North County and others – to diminish juvenile incarceration; to not create that prison pipeline that habituates a kid to the idea that they’re a criminal. And, over that 5-year period, the incarceration rates dropped by 48%. That’s almost half. But the crime rate didn’t go up with those kids; the recidivism didn’t go up. How was it done? We didn’t do it alone in Law Enforcement or Probation.

“We did it with partners – with Lifeline Community Services​ – looking at the underlying causes of mental health, of chemical addition, family dysfunction, abuse. And getting to those root causes is how we all did it together.”

Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney
October 16, 2017