Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney John Kellner is pleased to announce the opening of an office for Diversion counseling in Aurora, at 2993 S. Peoria St.
“For many years our office has had an incredibly successful Diversion program, and I have made expanding its offerings one of my priorities,” Kellner said. “I want more people to have access to the supports they need to end the behaviors that bring them into contact with law enforcement so they can stay out of the criminal justice system. This new office is yet another way to accomplish that.”
Diversion programs pair individuals with counseling and other interventions to drive down their risk factors for future offenses. People who successfully complete Diversion have their criminal cases dismissed without a public record.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office offers an adult diversion program, juvenile diversion, and it recently launched a pilot program for Recovery Diversion for adults. Diversion already has offices in Centennial, Littleton and Castle Rock. Diversion staff include 16 therapists with master’s degrees; 2 case managers; 2 victim advocates; 1 administrative assistant and 1 assistant director under the supervision of Director Sarah Ericson.
In 2020, 40 percent of all juvenile cases were referred into Diversion. Of the youth who successfully completed the Diversion program, only 6.7 percent had committed another offense after one year.
The new Aurora location brings services to a more convenient location for clients in that part of the jurisdiction; the office is also on bus lines and the light rail line.
“This location is another opportunity for us to make a difference,” Ericson said. “Part of the Diversion process is giving clients an opportunity to make amends to the community, as well as re-integration into that community. For us to facilitate that successfully in Aurora, it’s important for us to have our feet on the ground here.”
District Attorney Kellner is proud of the work of Ericson and her team, and he looks forward to what this new office can offer.
“We support second chances,” he said. “We want to keep people out of the justice system and help them on to the path of greater success.”