Diversion is a program that is offered to juveniles that have committed an offense and is an alternative to formal court action.
The program typically serves juveniles under the age of 18, but may be available to young people over the age of 18 years if they are still attending high school. Diversion primarily serves low risk and first time offenders. Referrals to the program come from many sources including: the prosecuting attorney’s office; local law enforcement; and the school district.
Diversion involves the young person accepting responsibility for their behavior. The young person and their parent(s) enter into a contract with the Blaine County Juvenile Probation Department that outlines how the child is held accountable for their behavior and an opportunity to repair the harm that has been done to a victim and the community.
The benefits of the program include:
•Individualized behavior contract based on risk, needs and strengths
•More immediate response and resolution of a case
•Increase in the potential for a positive outcome
•Access to community based resources that may assist the child and family
•Avoid the long-term consequences associated with the formal court process.
If the young person is not interested in participating in Diversion or does not successfully complete the terms of the Diversion contract, then the case can be referred for formal court action.