Direct Services - Diversion
Diversion programs are a specialized subset of interventions that typically serve youth who are at-risk and/or have been arrested or referred to the juvenile court for status offenses or nonserious delinquent offenses. In the latter instance, jurisdictions use diversion in lieu of formal court processing. The concept of diversion is based on the theory that processing certain youth through the juvenile justice system may do more harm than good (Lundman, 1993). Courts may inadvertently stigmatize some youth for having committed relatively petty acts that might best be handled outside the formal system. In addition, involvement with the juvenile justice system may increase some risk factors for delinquent behavior, such as delinquent peer associations. Diversion also is designed to reduce demands placed on overburdened juvenile courts and detention facilities, so they can concentrate on more serious offenders (Sheldon, 1999).
To reduce minority overrepresentation, diversion programs divert youth from formal court processing while still providing a mechanism that holds them accountable for their actions. Examples of diversion programs include community service, informal hearings, family group conferences, victim impact panels, victim-offender mediation, mentoring, teen courts, restitution, and other restorative justice strategies.
Early Intervention ProgramsAlternatives to Secure DetentionAlternatives to Secure CorrectionsAdvocacy Programs
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