Definition - What does Diversion mean?

Diversion is an opportunity given to many criminal defendants in non-felony cases (specifically those that involve the use of drugs or alcohol) to attend a class or other mandatory activity instead of serving jail time. The process works to keep a person out of jail. Instead, it acts as a mechanism to help the person modify their behavior. Diversions are offered in cases that are at the low end of the criminal spectrum and that did not result in harm to another person. By completing a diversion, it is hoped that the person will refrain from reoffending in the same way.

Justipedia explains Diversion

Diversion, by nature, is something that is only found in district or criminal court systems. It is usually applied in addition to a number of other provisions such as mandatory random drug and/or alcohol testing, curfews, and the revoked privilege to frequent establishments where alcohol is served. It is presumed that such measures will save the state money in contrast to paying for incarceration. There is frequently another sentence given that is instituted if the person does not successfully complete the diversion program.

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