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Adult Court Diversion



Court Diversion provides a restorative response for individuals charged with crimes or

delinquencies. Recognizing that people and relationships have been harmed when someone commits an

offense, Diversion empowers all stakeholders to collectively address the needs of the victim, the

community and the person who violated the law. Courts may impose conditions of release that will

remain in effect and public until the completion of the program. This process is usually done through a restorative panel or circle process.


Guiding Principles


There are guiding principles used for this program by staff that include;

1. Ensure that the applicant acknowledges responsibility for violating the law.

2. Focus on the harm experienced by the affected party, the person who violated the law, and the


3. Show respect and empathy for all parties.

4. Ensure opportunities for affected parties to have a voice.

5. Provide opportunities for the person who violated the law to repair the harm and to learn how

to address the underlying causes for the violation, empowering him/her to make more positive

life choices.

6. Actively involve the community in the response to the harm experienced by all parties.

7. Develop contract obligations that relate to repairing the harm, are achievable, and, where

appropriate, address the underlying causes for the behavior.

8. Ensure by the end of the process, that the person who violated the law has had the opportunity

to develop an understanding of how his/her actions affected others.


Program Criteria and Rights of Participants


1. Each Diversion program, in cooperation with the local State’s Attorney and the Attorney

General’s Office, shall develop clear criteria for determining what types of offenses and

offenders will be eligible for diversion.

2. The diversion program shall only accept persons whose charges have been filed and the

court found probable cause but are not yet adjudicated.

3. Alleged offenders shall be informed of their right to the advice and assistance of private counsel or the public defender at all stages of the diversion process, including the initial decision to

participate, and the decision to accept the diversion contract, so that the candidates may give

their informed consent.

4. Participants shall be informed that their selection of the diversion contract is voluntary.

5. Diversion programs shall respect the rights of participants.

Confidentiality and Information Sharing


6. All information gathered in the course of the diversion process shall be held strictly confidential

and shall not be released without the participant’s prior consent except in peer reviews during

which data and files may be reviewed by an external team for program and audit purposes only,

or in reporting cases where data is conveyed but the identity of the individual is not revealed.

7. As part of applying to Diversion, participants agree to share with affected party information that

directly pertains to the affected party(s) by signing the relevant section of the application form.

Risk, Need, Responsivity Principles


8. Diversion programs aim to follow Risk, Need, Responsivity principles.

     a. Risk principle - intensive intervention may be ineffective or actually harmful for low-risk


     b. Need Principle - target the specific needs of each participant, and

     c. Responsivity Principle - tailor the intervention to be responsive to each individual’s

         situation, interests, goals, and strengths.

For more information contact

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