Diversion Program

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Definition - What does Diversion Program mean?

A diversion program is a legal measure designed to remit charges for first-time offenders or individuals that commit minor offenses by which a justice authorizes probationary terms of making restitution to victims, performing community service, or attending behavioral modification courses. Diversion programs represent an alternative solution to incarceration, bypassing a criminal record that carries social stigmas against the convicted party.

SureHire explains Diversion Program

Diversion programs can be advantageous in helping offenders reform from previous criminal actions as opposed to sanctioning a full-term prison sentence where the adjudication process that includes pretrial jail time can be an economic drain to taxpayers. Many people believe diversion programs reflect lenient methodologies in exacting punitive justice, but studies report advance sufficient evidence that a court-appointed directive for first-time offenders lessens the possibility of recidivist behavior. Law enforcement officials and judges follow a set criteria where discretionary appointment to a diversion program depend on the circumstances surrounding the facts of the case.

Report studies demonstrate that successful completion of a diversion program can act as a deterrent to future crimes, though there has been an upswell of controversy over the apparent leniency of diversion programs. Moreover, rehabilitation is the primary objective for launching a diversion program, allowing the offender to assimilate back into the community through strict compliance with the law without forfeiting their civil rights.

While contentious views exist over diversion programs, the penal system affords certain offenders the opportunity to reevaluate life choices in the face of legal repercussions that can influence their quality of life. Diversion attempts to identify the underlying cause for criminal activities that can often involve victims to help mediate the situation. Fulfilling the terms of a diversion program can lead to the expungement of a criminal record that might create otherwise perceived stigmas from peers in the workplace.

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