Diversion & Community Alternatives Programs
The Diversion and Community Alternatives Programs Unit encompasses alternatives to prosecution and treatment programs offered by the District Attorney and the Courts. This includes Accountability Courts such as Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Veterans Court. The Unit creates and administers alternative solutions allowing our community to receive justice while still allowing non-violent defendants to maintain employability and positive community engagement.
To learn more about DeKalb County's Accountability Courts, click here: http://www.dekalbsuperiorcourt.com/
Pre-trial Diversion is a smart alternative to the traditional criminal justice process and is available to many first-time offenders charged with certain non-violent crimes. Diversion allows eligible offenders an opportunity to earn a second chance and avoid permanent criminalization.
Participants in Pre-trial Diversion complete conditions that are tailored to their particular criminal charges to break the cycle of criminal activity. Those conditions may include restitution to victims, counseling, classes, and community service. Participants who complete the program will receive a dismissal of the charges and record restriction (expungement).
Honoring the Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights is important in the criminal justice process. We ask for victims’ opinions prior to any offer of Diversion. Making things right, financially compensating victims, and repaying the community is essential components of participation in our program.
Pre-Trial Diversion not only gives offenders an opportunity for a second chance, and it also saves DeKalb County resources by decreasing the number of cases on the traditional court dockets. Criminal justice costs are cut by reducing the need for jurors, witnesses, off-duty officers, court reporters, deputies in the courtroom, and courtroom personnel. Reducing jail time imposed on low-level offenders also saves approximately $57/day in custody costs. Administrative program fees collected from Pre-Trial Diversion participants are deposited directly into the County General Fund. Pretrial Diversion also diminishes future criminal justice costs by giving participants the tools they need to avoid repeating mistakes and, instead, live as productive law-abiding citizens.