A Diversion Agreement may consist of one or more of the following:
- Community Service Work: The most common element of a Diversion Agreement is community service. The Board assigns the youth a certain number of hours (up to 150 hours) that must be spent working for a non-profit organization without pay. If the youth is attending school, no community service can be required during normal school hours. It is the responsibility of the youth to contact the Diversion Office within 48 hours of the Board meeting to arrange a community service site.
- Restitution: Restitution is defined as financial reimbursement to the victim. It is limited to the actual loss incurred, such as damages for injury to or loss of property, or expenses for medical treatment for physical injury. When the amount of loss or damage is high, the Board sets a figure that the youth can reasonably be expected to pay during this period. Accountability Boards deal with only criminal charges. The victim retains the right to initiate civil court action for additional damages. In shoplifting cases, a special statute allows the store to sue the parents for up to $200 plus the cost of the item up to $500.
- Fees: A $75 program fee is generally assigned to each case.
- Education: A Diversion Agreement may require participation in educational or informational sessions. Restorative Justice, Anger Management and Drugs and Alcohol Information classes are offered. All youth aged 13-17 who commit drug-related or alcohol offenses are required to attend the drug and alcohol class. Youth will be notified of the time and date of their assigned seminar. Seminar fees of $30 are the responsibility of the juvenile and his/her parents.
- Individual Counseling: A Diversion Agreement may require up to 10 hours of individual counseling, either with a counselor or minister. It is the responsibility of the youth to arrange counseling and provide verification of hours to the Diversion Unit.
After the Diversion Agreement is Signed
Once the juvenile agrees to the terms set by the board, and signs the Diversion agreement, he/she is supervised by the Diversion counselor while the contract is being completed. If the juvenile violates the contract, the case is sent back to the prosecutor who may refer it to Juvenile Court.
When a Youth Fails to Complete the Diversion Agreement
The case is referred to the prosecuting attorney and a formal court hearing may occur. If this occurs, the youth must receive written notice of the violation of the Diversion Agreement, and all evidence relating to it must be fully disclosed. The court termination hearing procedure must include an opportunity to speak and present evidence, the right to cross-examine, and a written statement by the Court outlining the reasons for the termination.
Following the termination hearing, the charge against the youth is brought before the Court for adjudication. In such a case, the court can reimpose the terms of the original Diversion Agreement or set new requirements (such as additional community service work) for the youth to complete, and order a term of community supervision under a probation counselor. If the youth fails to complete the terms imposed by the court, he/she may be given detention time, up to thirty days. In addition, the court file is open to the public and the youth's criminal records become public. Up until this point, the youth's criminal records are confidential.