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Prosecutor-Led Diversion: A National Survey

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2019
37 pages
This report covers the methodology and findings of a survey with the goal of gaining a better understanding of the range of prosecutor-led diversion programs nationwide, including their goals, target populations, and policies.
With funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative, the Center for Court Innovation developed and administered a survey that was sent to a national sample of 800 prosecutor offices. Of the 220 responding prosecutor offices, 121 (55 percent) offered some type of diversion program. A majority limited participation to adults (74 percent), were post-filing-only models (53 percent), and had some charge-type restrictions (52 percent). Priority was given to the diversion objectives of holding participants accountable for their criminal behavior; reducing participant recidivism; rehabilitating participants by treating underlying problems; and using resources more efficiently. Survey data on program features address screening and assessment for eligibility; program length; program requirements; ensuring participant understanding of program requirements; type of case supervision; results of program completion; and results of program failure. Prosecutors in rural and urban jurisdictions expressed similar goals for their prosecutorial diversion programs. Overall, the most self-reported diversion goals were to hold participants accountable for their criminal behavior, reduce participants recidivism, rehabilitate participants by treating their underlying problems, and using resources more efficiently. 11 tables, 8 figures, 11 references, and appended survey questionnaire