A program that saves court costs and positively impacts nonviolent criminal offenders.
The Pretrial Diversion Program is designed to help defendants before they develop long-term, destructive behavior. The program is successful in giving offenders a second chance while recognizing their obligations to their victims, their communities and themselves.
Pretrial Diversion is a voluntary program for offenders charged with misdemeanors or criminal violations. When a defendant successfully completes the program, a recommendation is made to the court to dismiss the charges. To participate in the program, a defendant must be approved by the district judge with the consent of the county attorney. The program requires a fee based on income using the Federal Poverty Guidelines sliding scale.
Defendants who complete the program receive multiple benefits. They avoid getting a conviction on their record. They also see positive results from helping others and changing their lives through education, training, treatment or counseling. The court system saves costs by reducing the number of court cases. Victims are paid restitution and the community benefits from the volunteer work clients are required to perform.
Who Is Eligible for Diversion?
Individuals who have been charged with a misdemeanor or criminal violation are eligible for the program. Examples of offenses that may result in diversion are alcohol intoxication, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, littering, public intoxication, possession of alcohol by a minor, possession of marijuana, no insurance and shoplifting.
Who Is Not Eligible for Diversion?
Individuals who are not eligible to participate in the Pretrial Diversion Program include those who have been charged with a DUI or a felony.
Services and Resources
There are many valuable community services and resources that clients can become involved in during their participation in the Pretrial Diversion Program. Clients who take advantage of these resources are more likely to avoid future criminal behavior. The diversion officers who oversee the program can refer clients to the appropriate resources:
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Theft education program
- Anger management
- Parenting classes
- Financial counseling
- GED programs
- Adult literacy
- Clients can contribute to the community by volunteering at nonprofit, charitable organizations.