One of the most desired outcomes of diversion is also one of the most challenging to measure: Recidivism. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to run a statewide 26-month analysis of a diversion program we administer in Johnston County, NC to determine whether the participants completing that program were less likely to reoffend. The analysis, which compared cases that were offered the program in Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, found that individuals who completed the diversion program had a recidivism rate that was 68% lower than that of individuals that did not participate in the diversion program.
Individuals who did not go through diversion were over three times more likely to commit another crime in the next two years.
Using nationally recognized guidelines on recidivism comparisons, we used the following parameters:
To get the closest to an apples-to-apples comparison we compared two groups of individuals over the exact same period between October 2017 and March 2018: those that were offered the program but did not enroll, and those that completed the program. This is to ensure that there is a comparison of two groups with as similar as possible demographics, eligibility, criminal offenses, and even time of year.
Quality of Study
We ran a criminal check on both groups of individuals two years later at the end of March 2020 that covered the entire state of North Carolina, not just Johnston County.
Economic factors and program costs likely did not significantly affect the results because this program has a sliding scale depending on the participant’s income and dependents, with total program fees as low as $40.
Keystones of This Diversion Program:
Evidence Based Curriculum: Group cognitive behavioral change sessions using evidence-based curriculum 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.