When talking to prosecutors, the one word that keeps coming up is "recidivism." The idea of prosecution for low-level or first time offenders is to instill them with a genuine sense of accountability and remorse which ultimately helps dissuade them from reoffending in the future. One way for prosecutors to do this without further crowding correctional facilities is to use diversion programs. There are skeptics of diversion, as some of our conversations begin with statements such as "If an offender is likely going to reoffend anyway, why bother with diversion at the cost of the taxpayers?" However, diversion programs have been gaining traction in our criminal justice system, some even being community-funded, because a good diversion program is proven to successfully reduce recidivism.
One proven program is our Johnston County, North Carolina program, where we were given a unique opportunity to cross-reference statewide records with the list of those who were offered diversion in our Johnston County program. The analysis we were able to perform with this opportunity, which compared cases that were offered the program in Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, found that individuals who completed our diversion program had a 2-year recidivism rate that was 68% lower than that of individuals that did not participate in the diversion program. Not only were we thrilled to be able to make a positive difference to the community, it gave us a real sense of pride to know that we have the resources and experience to develop diversion programs that are proven successful.
Keystones of The Johnston County, NC Diversion Program:
Evidence-Based Curriculum: Group sessions using evidence-based curriculum and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) provide the basis for future decision making. Taught by experienced professionals, over 60% of participants rated the classes as “eye opening” and over 80% stated that the class was “helpful and informative to their particular situation.” Learn more about our course curriculum here.
Socio-Economic Needs Assessments: An integral part of the Diversion Plan Conference, the needs assessment puts participants in touch with community resources that may assist with improving living conditions, employment, substance use, mental health, and veterans’ resources.
Accountability to the Community: Giving back to the community by way of community service, restitution, and apology letters.
Want to Learn More? Read Our Case Study!