Diversion is a restorative program for individuals charged with a crime. After the police issue a citation for violating the law, the State’s Attorney decides whether to refer the case out of the court system to the Court Diversion program. Participants must take responsibility for their actions and develop a contract with a panel of community volunteers through which they repair the harm caused. After successful completion, the State’s Attorney dismisses the charge(s).
During Fiscal Year 2019, WCDP’s Diversion Program worked with 403 diversion participants. Seventy-five percent of participants who completed the program during Fiscal Year 2019 did so successfully.
The Court Diversion process is strictly confidential and voluntary. Participants referred to the program must want to participate AND must accept full responsibility for their unlawful actions.
Each person entering the program is assigned a case manager who meets with the individual and discusses all aspects of the offense and the circumstances that contributed to the offense taking place.
Participants are then scheduled to meet with a Community Restorative Panel, which consists of volunteers from the community who are trained to help the participant develop a contract with input from the case manager. The contract is designed to have the participant make amends for the offense they committed.
Upon successful completion of the program, the State's Attorney is notified and the criminal charge is dismissed.
Check out this great video about Diversion!