November 18, 2014
When young adults commit a low-level offense on a one-time occasion, traditional forms of incarceration can seem extreme. While the offense may not warrant jail time, if the crime still deserves some type of sentencing, a diversion program may be a good option.
What is Diversion?
Typically reserved for youthful offenders and young adults, diversion programs were created as an attempt to divert youths and those who commit low-level offenses from the justice system. By imposing various diversion or alternative programs, individuals can essentially “serve” their time outside of jail. Because diversion programs are fundamentally different than adult programs, youths can greatly benefit.
What Kinds of Diversion Programs are Offered?
Many different kinds of diversion programs are offered and vary by state. Generally, diversion programs will emphasize on education to prevent future offenses. Offenders will typically have to provide some sort of restitution to the victim or victims of the offense in addition to completing community service hours. Once these are completed, an agreement is generally signed which states that the offender will avoid certain situations that may lead to another offense.
Sometimes, alternative forms of diversion programs will be suggested. For example, Florida is home to the Associated Marine Institute (AMI), which is frequently used as an alternative to incarceration. At AMI, youths will get to live at home but during the day will be involved in various activities such as learning about marine biology and how to repair boats. This encourages youthful offenders to learn new skills while staying out of trouble.
Who Can Qualify for Diversion Programs?
Not everyone is eligible for a diversion program. Most diversion programs limit participation to those with low-level and non-violent offenses like petit theft, minor assault, or possession of marijuana. Participation is also limited to those who are not repeat offenders and have no prior convictions, offenses, or diversions. Diversion programs may be a good alternative to traditional incarceration for youthful offenders and young adults.
As always, if you or a loved one is facing any sort of legal trouble, it is important to have the appropriate legal representation. The skilled team at the Khonsari Law Group will fervently defend your rights and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.