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Minnesota Juvenile Diversion: A Summary of Statewide Practices and Programming

NCJ Number
Dana Swayze, M.S.W.; Danette Buskovick, M.S.W.
Date Published
June 2012
131 pages
This report provides an overview of juvenile diversion programs and services across the State of Minnesota using information collected directly from diversion service providers.
The findings of this study support that diversion criteria and services vary widely among Minnesota's 87 counties. While county attorney discretion around eligibility and individualized services for youth are important components of diversion, some aspects of diversion could be standardized by providers around the State for a more equitable diversion experience. The Juvenile Diversion Guidebook, published by the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change Initiative, presents 16 key steps when planning and implementing a diversion program that consider the needs and resources of communities; rights of both victims and juvenile offenders; and need for public safety and accountability. These 16 planning steps, coupled with the Minnesota specific data provided in this report can serve as a catalyst for discussion regarding opportunities for consistency. The recommendations included in this report are derived from literature related to best practices in pretrial diversion as well as gaps and inconsistencies in diversion service delivery and policy identified in the interviews. The findings of this report will be useful to support the work of juvenile-diversion providers; to advocate for continued and enhanced diversion opportunities; to promote greater consistency in the use of diversion; and to highlight the importance of data collection and evaluation to effective service delivery. Appendixes and references