As the name suggests, Court Diversion is an alternative to the formal criminal court process. The State's Attorney reviews cases brought to that office for prosecution and determines which offenders would be good candidates for the program. Juvenile or adult first time offenders are typically eligible depending on the offense, however, the final determination to refer an offender to the program rests with the State's Attorney.
The Court Diversion process is strictly confidential and voluntary. If an offender is referred to the program, they must want to participate AND they 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 Review Panel, which consists of volunteers from the community who are trained to help the participant develop a contract with input from the case manager. This 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.
The video that follows takes about 10 minutes to watch and provides an excellent overview of the court diversion process.