CHOICES Youth Program

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Life is about choices.

The path to a successful life is paved in both missteps and good decisions. What if there was a way to help young people learn this valuable life lesson before they reach the point of no return?

The Durham County Sheriff's Office considers it an honor, duty and act of service to offer the community's youngest residents a life-changing option to a life of crime. In other words, they deserve the opportunity to make better choices in life.


Creating Healthy Opportunities Inspiring Children to Have Everyday Success (CHOICES) offers youth a chance to learn about the life-altering consequences of criminal activity.

The CHOICES program is open to girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 15. A referral from a law enforcement officer, parent or guardian is required.


Call Sgt. Hinton at (919) 560-0342 to register your child. Questionnaires can also be obtained from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office front desk or the Durham County Detention Facility. CHOICES questionnaires are processed on a first come first serve basis. Once the slots for each session are filled, applicants are placed on a waiting list. 


The CHOICES program aims to give participants a realistic experience. The staff organizes tours on the third Saturday of each month from September through July. During the detention facility tour, participants remain under close supervision. They're placed in a cell alone to experience the restrictions that come with being housed in a local confinement facility. Before their release, participants get the chance to speak with detainees who willingly volunteered to caution the participants against a life of crime.


Each participant is paired with either a detention officer or a deputy who commits to mentoring the participant for the remainder of the program. Mentors conduct home visits and organize group outings to help the youth build healthy relationships and to expose them to educational opportunities, places, or events they may not otherwise experience.