Many juveniles referred to Juvenile Court are second- or third-time
offenders who commit offenses such as shoplifting, malicious mischief or
possession of alcohol. These youth may be eligible for an alternative
to formal court processing known as diversion.
The Diversion Unit screens youth by seriousness of offense, age, and prior history, and then schedules youth an appropriate group seminar/class (group advisement), Community Accountability Board (CAB) or individual appointment.
Community Accountability Board
After the prosecutor reviews the case and determines that the youth is eligible for diversion, the case is referred to the program. If both the youth and the program agree to diversion, instead of having the case tried in a formal courtroom setting before a judge, the youth and his or her family meet with a Community Accountability Board (CAB) comprised of volunteers from the youth’s community and/or Diversion staff. The CAB and the youth enter into a written agreement about what consequences will be imposed for the youth's behavior. The agreement may include restitution to the victim, community service, a fine, counseling, informational or educational classes and other options.
By appearing at the diversion meeting, the youth is able to take responsibility for his or her actions without obtaining a criminal record. After participating in diversion, the youth may truthfully say that they have not been convicted of a crime.
If the youth does not want to participate in diversion, the juvenile has the right to speak with an attorney prior to accepting diversion or having the case referred back to the prosecutor for filing of charges.