Benefits of Court Diversion

By following a restorative justice approach of addressing the needs of crime victims, the offender, and the community, Diversion provides benefits to many individuals and the community.

Benefits for victims may include:

  • financial restitution for their loss
  • a written or in-person apology
  • the opportunity to voice their views and participate in a restorative justice process
  • learning about the circumstances surrounding the offense
  • knowledge of the effectiveness of Diversion in preventing future criminal behavior

Benefits for offenders include:

  • avoiding a criminal conviction record
  • making  amends to victims and the community in a meaningful way
  • helping to decide how to repair the harm they’ve done — through this process, people can really learn from the experience and are less likely to get in trouble with the law again

Benefits for the community include:

  • volunteers taking an active role in being a part of a restorative justice process
  • effectiveness of Diversion in preventing future criminal behavior (0ver 84% of successful Diversion participants from 2007-2009 were not subsequently charged with committing a crime up to two years after completing Diversion)
  • cost-effective method (Court Diversion holds offenders accountable outside the costly court system at an average cost of approximately $200 to the State)
  • an alternative that relieves pressure on a crowded court system so prosecutors and others can focus time and energy on significant crime without losing sight of other offenses (The percentage of misdemeanor cases resolved through Diversion has increased each year since 2006 up to close to 10%)
Fiscal Year 2012 Youth
age 10-18
Number of people referred by State’s Attorneys 528 1,589
Percentage of people who completed the program successfully 81% 83%
Percentage of victims compensated for their loss 81% 93%
Amount of restitution & charitable donations paid by Diversion participants $7,896 $73,217
Hours of community service completed by Diversion participants 2,811 16,568