Diversion Program

Diversion Program

The Diversion Program is structured to concentrate on the positive development of both juveniles and adults.  The program is designed to teach responsibility and provide consequences to those individuals exhibiting criminal behavior, thus helping to reduce or eliminate future criminal acts.  The key component for this program is the acceptance of responsibility for the alleged offense and a willingness to discuss the motives for the act.

In addition, Diversion:
  • Holds individuals accountable for their actions
  • Provides a firm response to the participant’s unlawful behavior
  • Refers families to appropriate support agencies and programs within our community
  • Examines the needs of the community
  • Provides education on specific topics related to criminal violations

 Types of Programs

Juvenile Diversion is available for first-time offenders, ages 10 to 17 years, who meet specific criteria based on the facts of the offense.  Requirements for the program are based on the type of offense, individual needs and standard requirements (i.e. curfew, school).  If eligible, the juvenile and parent(s)/guardian(s) meet with a Diversion Counselor to determine which length of program they are eligible to complete:

  • Short-term Diversion (up to three (3) months) is for offenders who do not demonstrate high-risk factors.
  • Long-term Diversion (up to six (6) months) is for offenders who demonstrate high-risk factors (typically Felony level) and require more extensive services.

If the Juvenile complies with the contract requirements and does not commit a new offense, the case is closed without prosecution.  If the juvenile is non-compliant, the case is referred for prosecution and the juvenile and parent(s)/guardian(s) must appear in court regarding the charge(s).

Adult Diversion is structured similar to Juvenile Diversion with the intent to provide early intervention to detour future criminal involvement for individuals over 18 years of age.  Adult offenders must accept responsibility for their actions and meet with a Diversion Counselor for a contract to be created.

  • Short-term Diversion (up to three (3) months) is for offenders who do not demonstrate high-risk factors.
  • Long-term Diversion (up to six (6) months) is for offenders who demonstrate high-risk factors (typically Felony level offenses) and require more extensive services.

If the individual complies with the contract requirements and does not commit a new offense, the case is closed without prosecution or dismissed.  If the individual is non-compliant the case is referred to prosecution and the individual must appear in court regarding the charge(s).

M.I.P. (Minor In Possession) is for juveniles and young adults (under 21 years of age) who have received a first-time citation for Underage Possession of Alcohol or Possession of Marijuana.  The juvenile/young adult enters into a Short-term agreement with offense specific requirements which is followed by a Diversion Counselor.

S.H.O.P. (Stealing Hurts Other People) is a four-hour educational seminar (spread over two days) offered to first-time shoplifters appearing in Municipal Court.  The seminar utilizes the Restorative Justice format where community members (i.e. loss prevention officers, law enforcement, business owners, and trained facilitator) participate in an open dialog addressing the impact of theft on the community, offenders, and their families.


Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is an approach that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community. Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and understanding the impact that it has had on the entire community. Restorative Justice involves both victims and offenders while focusing on their personal needs to repair the harm done by the offense. In addition, it provides assistance for the offender in order to avoid future contact with the law. Restorative Justice that fosters dialogue between victims and offenders are performed by a trained facilitator that will follow all participants throughout the process.  Restorative Justice is a voluntary program that focuses on first-time juvenile offenders who want to repair the harm that has been caused by their actions.

Restorative Justice Programs

  • Circles
  • Community Service
  • Conferencing
  • Ex-offender Assistance
  • Restitution
  • Victim Assistance
  • Victim Offender Mediation

Restorative Justice programs are characterized by four key values:

  1. Encounter:  Create opportunities for victims, offenders and community members who want to meet to discuss the crime and its aftermath
  2. Amends:  Expect offenders to take steps to repair the harm they have caused
  3. Reintegration:  Seek to restore victims and offenders to whole, contributing members of society
  4. Inclusion:  Provide opportunies for parties with a stake in a specific crime to participate in its resolution.

Who are the Stakeholders and what is their role in the Restorative Justice process?

  • The Victim(s):  Have the opportunity to share their feelings about what happened; Have a voice in how the offender can repair the harm; Are able to move toward the process of forgiveness and healing
  • The Offender(s):  Are held accountable for their actions by repairing the harm; Are given the opportunity to be a part of the solution; Have the opportunity to develop an understanding of the impact their actions have on others; Are encouraged to see themselves as important members of our community
  • Families and Community Member(s):  Have the opportunity to share their feelings about the crime that was committed; Have a voice in how the offender can repair the harm; Have the opportunity to be a part of a process that builds stronger communities; Have the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with Pueblo’s youth and the community

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