What is Diversion?

Diversion refers to the process of diverting an accused offender out of the traditional criminal justice system and into alternative programs or processes.

The aim of diversion is to provide an alternative way of dealing with certain types of offenders, particularly those who have committed non-violent or low-level offenses, such as drug offenses, minor property crimes, or traffic violations.

Diversion programs can take various forms, but they all seek to address the underlying causes of offending behavior, such as drug addiction, mental health issues, or lack of education or employment opportunities.

Some examples of diversion programs include drug courts, mental health courts, restorative justice programs, and community service orders.

The goal of diversion is not only to provide offenders with the help and support they need to overcome their problems and avoid reoffending but also to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system by diverting low-risk offenders away from prosecution and imprisonment.

In some cases, diversion may be a mandatory requirement, such as for first-time offenders, juveniles, or those with a history of drug addiction or mental illness.

However, diversion may also be offered as an option to those who would otherwise face prosecution, provided they meet certain eligibility criteria.

Diversion programs are designed to provide a more effective, cost-efficient, and humane approach to dealing with certain types of offenders, while also reducing the strain on the criminal justice system and promoting community safety.