A diversion program in the criminal justice system is a form of sentencing and such programs are often run by a police department, court, a district attorney’s office, or outside agency designed to enable offenders of criminal law to avoid criminal charges and a criminal record.
Diversion programs exist for adult and juvenile cases.
What is a Diversion Program in Texas?
In Texas a Diversion Program can be broken down into these three areas:
- Giving sentencing alternatives at the time of conviction
- Giving sanctioning alternatives to revocation
- Reducing the future likelihood of recidivism
Juvenile Diversion Programs
Juvenile Diversion Programs are designed to reduce the occurrence of juvenile crime by diverting youth from the traditional juvenile justice system and provide an alternative to formal processing.
Pretrial Diversion Program
Pretrial Diversion in Texas is a voluntary program for offenders charged with misdemeanors or criminal violations. Pretrial Diversion removes a defendant from prosecution prior to a guilty or nolo contendere plea. Pretrial Diversion can also be referenced as deferred prosecution, pretrial intervention, accelerated pretrial rehabilitation, and accelerated rehabilitative disposition. When the defendant successfully completes their Pretrial Diversion Program, a recommendation is made to the court to dismiss the charges.
In a Pretrial Diversion Program, the prosecutor will halt the case, so the defendant can complete the conditions of the diversion program. The conditions of the Pretrial Diversion Program can include probation, counseling and community service, among others.