Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

Orchard Place PACE Positive Choices Group Celebrates 6th Month Anniversary


Orchard Place, mental health experts for Iowa’s children, is proud to announce the 6th month anniversary of the PACE Positive Choices Group.  Formed earlier this year, the program is a collaboration between the Juvenile Court in Polk, Dallas, and Warren Counties. 

The Positive Choices Group is a 2 hour program offered once a month to first offenders who have a disorderly conduct or criminal mischief act they have committed at school, home or in the community.  The goal of the program is to educate youth about the offence they have committed, the impact of the crime, how that affects themselves and others, and alternatives to poor decisions that have been made.  It stresses accountability, consequences of behaviors, underlying causes of delinquency and helps juveniles make better choices in the future.

“The factors which enable children to end up in the Juvenile Court System are well known,” said Mark Cowan, Vice President of Orchard Place’s PACE Program.  “Early intervention has been proven critical to help at risk kids better understand the seriousness of their offense, and help them make better decisions in the future.”

First offenders are referred to the program by the Juvenile Court System in each of the three counties.  Parents report that this program has helped their child better understand the seriousness of their actions.

Delinquency prevention efforts such as the PACE Positive Choices Group seek to redirect youth who have committed a delinquent offense from deeper involvement in the juvenile justice system.  Juvenile Court Officers receive completed journals and student paperwork and a discharge summary stating the dates attended and completion of the program.

For more information about the Positive Choice Program, contact the PACE Juvenile Center at 515-697-5700 or visit

About Orchard Place:

Orchard Place is the oldest locally-based charity in Des Moines providing mental health treatment and expertise for Iowa’s kids.  Our inpatient, outpatient and community program serves nearly 8,000 children from birth to age 22 annually.  Four operating divisions work under the Orchard Place umbrella of services:  Child Guidance Center, Orchard Place Campus, PACE Juvenile Center and the Integrated Health Program.  More information can be found at