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The diversion programs for adults and juveniles in the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office offer an alternative to the criminal justice system to some offenders. Instead of the court system, the diversion counseling programs use therapeutic interventions to promote accountability and address the underlying factors contributing to criminal and delinquent behaviors. Each person accepted into the program goes through a screening and assessment process to help guide the creation of an individualized treatment plan. Participants can make amends for their actions, gain insights into themselves and identify opportunities for self-improvement without the full weight of the justice system. In addition to helping participants, diversion helps victims and communities through programs that reduce future harm.
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History of Diversion Program
Responding to an increase in juvenile delinquency in 1974, District Attorney Robert R. Gallagher, Jr. convened the Juvenile Justice Task Force to study how to reduce juvenile involvement with the criminal justice system and how to make the system more responsive to individual needs. The 18th Juvenile Diversion Program was conceived by this task force and began operation in October 1975.
Since that time, the diversion program has evolved, offering effective alternatives to prosecution for both juveniles and adults focused on accountability, addressing the underlying contributors to criminal and delinquent behaviors, and increasing well-being. With offices in Centennial, Littleton and Castle Rock, the program offers services such as restorative justice, individual counseling, family counseling, group counseling, substance use treatment, experiential therapy, community service and restitution.
The Diversion Team
Diversion staff are masters-level therapists trained and licensed in such areas as professional counseling, social work, couples and family therapy, experiential therapy, art therapy, animal-assisted therapy, addictions counseling, offense-specific treatment, and EMDR.
Diversion supports student interns from therapy-oriented master’s programs at several area universities. If you are interested in joining us as an intern please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Diversion?
The Diversion Counseling Program is administered by the District Attorney of the 18th Judicial District, serving Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties. The program provides an alternative to prosecution in court for select juvenile and adult offenders. The Diversion Counseling Program uses therapeutic interventions and restorative justice practices to address individual, family and community needs. Our primary goals are to provide accountability, identify and intervene to address contributing risk factors for offending behavior, and to increase the well-being of all participants.
What is Restorative Justice?
The Diversion Counseling Program applies a restorative justice model to resolving cases. Restorative justice requires participants to take accountability, understand their impact on others and the community, develop empathy, cultivate insight, and, finally, to make amends. The participant’s engagement in these steps is essential to successful completion of Diversion. We believe that participant’s ownership of the restorative justice process creates more impactful outcomes than a process of imposed consequences. As such, all participants in Diversion must participate in a restorative justice process as part of meeting their program requirements.
How do you know your Juvenile Diversion model works?
Annual program evaluations by Colorado’s Division of Criminal Justice have found that our Juvenile Diversion program positively impact youth in all domains measured. The recidivism rate measured 1 year after successfully completing our Diversion program is less than 9%. Multi-year program evaluations have found equally effective outcomes for all youth regardless of gender, age or race. Our program recognizes that one-size fits nobody and that individualized plans tailored to individual’s needs is what makes our program successful.
What is the cost to participate in Diversion?
There is a one-time non-refundable administrative fee that must be paid in order to participate in Diversion:
$150 for juvenile cases
$500 for juvenile sex offense cases + the cost of treatment
$300 for adult cases
Payment plans, waivers and limited financial support for external treatment providers for juveniles is also available.
What kinds of things might I be doing while in Diversion?
You and your assigned counselor will create a treatment plan designed to address your risks and needs. Your treatment plan may include individual, family or group therapy, restorative justice practices and our experiential program that includes art therapy and wilderness therapy for juveniles. All participants in Diversion must also agree to and abide by the Diversion contract’s standard terms and conditions.
How long will Diversion take?
The answer to this question varies depending on the individual treatment plan of each participant. How quickly the goals of the plan are achieved is primarily driven by the participants themselves. The average length of participation in Diversion is between 5 and 8 months. In other words, you may be done after 3 appointments, or you may need to continue working with Diversion for a year, but probably somewhere in the middle.
What happens when I am done with Diversion?
Once you have completed the requirements of Diversion you will be given a letter of completion. If your case was filed into court, a motion to dismiss will also be filed. If you are a juvenile, your case will be eligible for expungement. You can access information on the expungement process here. If you are an adult you should consult with a lawyer for information about the sealing process and your eligibility.
Will I be drug tested while in Diversion?
Yes. One of the mandatory conditions of Diversion is that you agree not to use any illegal drugs or alcohol, including marijuana, which is an illegal drug for minors in the State of Colorado. All participants complete an initial drug test to help determine whether substance abuse treatment will be included in your individualized plan. You will be required to pay for your own drug tests. You may request financial support for drug tests in some circumstances. Medical marijuana use is prohibited while in Diversion without the express written permission of the elected District Attorney or the Assistant District Attorney.
I have more questions...
You can read through the Diversion program contracts here to learn more. You will be given the opportunity to ask questions during an intake appointment as well. Feel free to contact us directly via email at email@example.com or by phone at 720-874-8680 if we can help in any other way.