Diversion in Criminal Justice

Topics: Prison, Criminal law, Crime Pages: 6 (1878 words) Published: August 15, 2013
Diversion Program
Dontressa Jones
Troy University
Dr. Stephen Morrison

Table of Contents
i. Introduction (what is Diversion)

ii. Literature review

iii. Methodology

iv. Expected outcomes

v. References

vi. Time line

vii. Budget

viii. Data analysis

ix. Conclusion

x. abstract

Evaluation of Diversion Programs
The criminal justice system’s ultimate goal is to keep people out of the criminal justice system. Different programs have been implemented for certain criminal offenses to be resolved before trial. One of those programs is called a Diversion Program. Diversion is being used by numerous courts as a method of deterrence for 1st time and/or nonviolent offenders. This review will evaluate the program and its effect on recidivism rates in the criminal justice system. Literature Review

The Diversion Program is an attempt to divert charges of offenders to alternate programs in the community such as counseling, community service, treatment, and drug rehabilitation. If they complete these programs the criminal charges will be dismissed. However, if the offender violates any terms of the Diversion Program, the court will prosecute them and sentence them accordingly (Brown, 2013). There was a previous program in the Criminal Justice Department from 1946-1974 called the Brooklyn Plan for Juveniles. If the juvenile committed a minor offense and the juvenile had a good record, they were referred for a rehabilitative measure. In 1974, another program for adults was introduced (www.miept.us.courts.gov, 2013). In 1978 the Pretrial Services Agency formed an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and formally established the framework. Diversion is a very influential aspect of the Criminal Justice System. The program is designed to alleviate some of the burden on the correctional system (www.miept.us.courts.gov, 2013). The diversion program is designed to divert criminal activity and reduce the recidivism rate of offenders. The criminal justice system is overcrowded, overwhelmed and very costly to the economy. So if the defendant is looked at as being able to be rehabilitated or “saved”. The prosecution and the court and not considered a career criminal, which in turn helps the burdened criminal justice system. The Diversion Program has major objectives. They are designed to accelerate the disposition of cases to reduce recidivism, deter expenses by giving services to offenders at the lowest cost and reduces prosecutions, give offenders alternate methods to reduce their entry into the correctional system and relieve the cases and give judicial officers more time for caseloads that have to go to court (www.miept.uscourts.gov, 2013). Two (2) additional issues are the constitutionality and charges of differential treatment based on race and ethnicity. There have been issues of “disposition without adjudication” and differential treatment of African Americans where they were incarcerated for offenses and Caucasians were offered diversion. Also, studies found that minorities had inadequate family support, school failure and negative peer influence and were not given enough community-based support while in the program or after release (www.ncjrs.gov, 1999). Regulating behavior to deter criminal activity and reoffending is the main goal of the criminal justice system The Lafayette La Diversion Program showed in 2008 that inmates who enroll in diversion program, recidivism rates dropped 20% of inmates who were incarcerated. The study showed 354 in diversion programs were rearrested compared to 55.7% inmates who were incarcerated (Brown, 2008) According to UNICEF on the impact of incarceration over deferment shows evidence that imprisonment makes it hard for offenders to adjust to life after prison, especially long term sentences which causes them to reoffend. Studies indicate that...
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