Diversion is a voluntary intervention program that works with first time non-violent offenders.
Diversion recognizes that the juvenile made a mistake and allows the juvenile the opportunity to take responsibility and for their actions without going through the formal court process and without an adjudication (a formal court record). The intention of this program is to help juveniles and their families learn to make better choices, by recommending appropriate interventions based upon the charge(s) so that they may reach their full potential as a valuable member of society. When a juvenile successfully completes their diversion contract, the case in the dismissed and sealed.
Who is Eligible?
Eligibility is based on various criteria during the courts screening process; the Intake/Diversion department determines who is eligible for this program. Generally, any first time non-violent, misdemeanor or status offense would qualify for diversion.
How does Diversion Work?
Juveniles referred to the diversion program, will be contacted by mail with their scheduled appointment time. The juvenile and at least one parent or guardian is required to appear. In the initial meeting the Officer will gather information, discuss the incident and the program as well as the juveniles responsibilities as a participant in the program. The juvenile must admit to the offense(s) to participate in the diversion upon admission. The juvenile and parents will enter into a diversion contract; this is a commitment by the juvenile, the parents or guardians and the diversion officer to fulfill the contract in the scheduled time given. Each contract is unique, personal, creative and positive. Contracts are meant to hold the juvenile accountable, increase decision making skills, increase the juveniles self-esteem, and reduce the likeliness of the juvenile committing a future offense. Juveniles who do not comply with the diversion contract may be required to go through the formal court process.
Diversion is an effective means of holding a juvenile accountable without formal court record or involvement. The process allows for community members to develop healthy relationships with juveniles without the negative consequences of being adjudicated a delinquent.
Intake/Diversion Department Head