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Guide to Developing Pre-Adjudication Diversion Policy and Practice in Pennsylvania

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2010
22 pages
This guide provides information for developing pre-adjudication diversion policy and practice in the Pennsylvania's juvenile justice system.
This guide, developed by the Models for Change Initiative in Pennsylvania, provides information for developing pre-adjudication diversion policies and practices in the State's juvenile justice system. The guide was developed to provide assistance to counties in their efforts to draft county-specific policies and protocols to guide local practices. As noted in this guide, diversion is both a process, providing alternatives to adjudications for alleged juvenile offenders, and a program, providing a set of services for alleged juvenile offenders to receive in place of a formal adjudication. The 13 chapters of this guide address both aspects of pre-adjudication diversion and provide information to stakeholders on how to address both aspects as well. The 13 chapters cover the following topics: 1) Definition of Pre-Adjudication Diversion; 2) Statutory Basis and Role of Pre-Adjudication Diversion in the Juvenile Justice System; 3) Youth Eligible for Diversion; 4) Preventing Net-Widening; 5) Diversion and Summary Offenses; 6) Diversion Activities and Balanced and Restorative Justice; 7) Collaboration and the Identification/Development of Effective Diversion Programs; 8) Elements of Effective Programs and Written Agreements - Referral and Eligibility, Written Agreements, Bar on Future Prosecution for the Same Offense, and Expungement; 9) Family Involvement and Support Systems;10) Special Considerations for Diversion by Law Enforcement; 11) Special Considerations for Diversion by Intake Juvenile Probation Officers; 12) Special Considerations for Diversion of Youth Who Commit School-Based Offenses; and 13) Outcome Measurement. Appendixes