Diversion

Overview

The Center for Court Innovation seeks to create multiple off-ramps from the justice system, both before and after adjudication. Young people are a particular area of focus. The Center provides a range of diversion programs in an effort to help participants avoid incarceration, the collateral consequences of justice involvement, and, in some cases, formal case processing altogether. 

Created in collaboration with the New York Police Department and the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorneys’ Offices, Project Reset diverts young people in target neighborhoods prior to arraignment. Participants engage in services and avoid formal processing in the court system. The program is the first pre-arraignment diversion in New York City. A similar program enables young defendants to engage in a brief social service intervention on the same day as their first court appearance. Upon completion of services, their cases are immediately dismissed. The idea is to offer a proportionate response to minor misbehavior while giving participants the kind of services and support they need to get on the path to success.

The Center for Court Innovation, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Quinnipiac University School of Law, hosted Justice Innovation in Times of Change: New Challenges, New Opportunities on September 30, 2016 at the Quinnipiac University School of Law. 

The one-day summit provided an opportunity for practitioners both inside and outside the justice system—including policymakers, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officials, court administrators, police, clinical staff, and non-profit organizations—to learn about a range of topics relating to chronic lower-level offending, including diversion. Learn more

In The News

  • Slate highlights the Center's work to promote diversion in a report on police reform in New York.
  • The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange covers the Center's diversion work in Brownsville.
  • The New York Times highlights a pilot electronic monitoring program, developed in collaboration with the Center for Court Innovation, that allows juvenile defendants to stay out of prison while awaiting trial.
  • The New York Times describes the Red Hook Community Justice Center's success at cutting the number of people jailed, reducing recidivism, and saving money—and highlights the effort to create a similar justice center in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
  • The New York Times covers a new pilot program run by the Center for Court Innovation that will allow 16- and 17-year-olds arrested for low-level offenses to be diverted from formal prosecution.
  • Al Jazeera America profiles the restorative justice work of the Red Hook Peacemaking Program at the Red Hook Community Justice Center.

Publications

Creating Off-Ramps: A National Review of Police-Led Diversion Programs

Creating Off-Ramps: A National Review of Police-Led Diversion Programs

By Jennifer A. Tallon, Melissa Labriola and Joseph Spadafore

This study maps the current landscape of police-led pretrial diversion programs. It presents the results from a survey on diversion given to a representative sample of law enforcement agencies nationwide along with case studies of eight promising police-led programs, including programs targeting mentally-ill individuals, juveniles, and low-level or first-time adult defendants. Funded by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office of the Department of Justice, this report explores why these programs were created, how they work, and how they differ.

Operating Programs
Most Popular Research

Publications

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

By Michael Rempel

This fact sheet distills a growing body of research about evidence-based strategies in five areas for reducing recidivism among criminal offenders: assessment, treatment, deterrence, procedural justice, and collaboration.

Publications

The Adolescent Diversion Program in New York: A Reform in Progress

The Adolescent Diversion Program in New York: A Reform in Progress

By Richard Ross and Alfred Siegel

This paper reviews the lessons learned from nine pilot court sites testing the Adolescent Diversion Program, which brings cases of 16- and 17-year-olds before specially trained judges, who have access to an expanded array of dispositions, including age-appropriate services. The Adolescent Diversion Program was created as a forerunner to “Raise-The-Age” legislation.

Publications

Peacemaking Circles: Evaluating a Native American Restorative Justice Practice in a State Criminal Court Setting in Brooklyn

Peacemaking Circles: Evaluating a Native American Restorative Justice Practice in a State Criminal Court Setting in Brooklyn

By Suvi Hynynen Lambson

This study examines the work of the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s Peacemaking Program, which uses traditional Native American practices to resolve disputes. Participants can avoid the justice system by participating in peacemaking sessions and reaching a consensus agreement for restitution and repair.

Contact
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  • Syracuse, NY 13204
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  • phone: +44 2076.329.060