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What a Newly Elected Prosecutor Needs to Know About Diversion Programs


Newly elected prosecutors face the daunting task of managing countless cases, ensuring effective and fair justice, and improving the local community. A potential solution to these challenges is the implementation of diversion programs. These programs not only make the legal process more efficient but also offer numerous benefits to the community, defendants, and the prosecutor's office. And according to a 2017 study, 94% of the public believes prosecutors should use diversion programs more often.

 

Efficiency and Case Load Management

Diversion programs aren't designed to replace existing positions or roles in the legal system. Instead, they help eliminate repetitive and time-consuming tasks like communicating with defendants, transcribing information from physical documents into a database, and manually updating cases. For instance, with traffic diversion programs, prosecutors can efficiently manage a high volume of minor cases, freeing up time for more serious felony cases. This shift allows the prosecutor's office to focus more on pressing tasks such as preparing for upcoming felony arraignments, grand juries, and trials. And depending on how quickly the defendant or defense attorney pushes for a speedy trial, preliminary hearings can occur within days of the arrest. This urgency means prosecutors must promptly review all evidence, turn over discovery, prepare witnesses, and more. Implementing diversion programs allows prosecutors to address minor offenses adequately and allocate more time to serious cases that pose a greater risk to public safety and the local community.

 

Fairness and Accessibility

Diversion programs also offer a standardized way of addressing similar cases. This is particularly beneficial for defendants without defense attorneys, who may not be aware of this option, struggle with legal jargon, or find it difficult to negotiate on their own. The programs work to ensure that defendants are not disadvantaged by socioeconomic status, education level, and more. The eligibility criteria for diversion programs are determined by the prosecutor's office, which maintains control over the types of offenses that can be diverted and the eligibility parameters. This is often based on factors such as criminal history and previous participation in similar programs, thereby promoting fairness and accessibility in the justice system. Prosecutors can maintain oversight of streamlined processes, while allowing them to focus on cases that need their time and attention.

 

Budgetary Benefits and Community Support

The fees collected from diversion programs can supplement the prosecutor's office budget or fund community programs, such as crime stoppers or victim support funds. Therefore, these programs facilitate rehabilitation over traditional punishment and contribute positively to community welfare and safety. Implementing diversion programs can be a transformative step for newly elected prosecutors, significantly enhancing the efficiency and fairness of the justice system while providing additional resources for the agency and community. Thus, they represent a win-win solution for both the prosecutor's office and the community it serves.

 

Next Steps

If you or your agency is interested in implementing a diversion program Advent eLearning has the resources and configurability to meet the needs of agencies big or small all at no cost to the organization. The eLearning platform offers over 30 evidence-based behavior modification courses that cover a broad range of offense categories. As well as the software to handle defendant communication, through text, email, and physical mail, program applications, automated document disposition and routing and much more.

 

Contact Advent eLearning

If you represent a course-assigning agency, and you are interested in how Advent eLearning can benefit your agency and your clients, click here to visit our website. You can review Advent eLearning programs with no costs or obligations for your organization. Contact us today for a trial account or a guided demonstration.

 

Advent eLearning courses address a variety of topics including:

 

Alcohol & Substance Abuse

Anger Management

Animal Care

Boating & Outdoors

Bullying

Juvenile Conflict Resolution

Corrective Thinking

Defensive Driving

Financial Crimes

Firearm Responsibility

Harassment

Hunting Responsibility

Impaired Driving

Juvenile Sexting

Life Skills

Marijuana & THC

Parenting

Prostitution

Revenge Porn

Shoplifting

Theft

Traffic Safety

Underage Substance

Victim Impact Panel

 

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