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Florida Diversion Programs

Diversion Programs help citizens divert from the justice system for their civil offenses. New Diversion programs have concentrated on significant mental health issues and end up in out -of-home placement or on probation by default. Diversion programs are for youth who have committed minor offenses away from the criminal justice system and focused on community based treatments. Many diversion programs established to provide specialized help for youth with mental health and or substance abuse concerns. These programs include processes of:

  • Screening and assessment

  • Education and tutorial services

  • Victim awareness classes and activities

  • Service learning programs

  • Substance use education and counseling

  • Job skills training

  • Mental health treatment

  • Crisis intervention family counseling

  • Parenting skill development

  • Support for rebuilding family relationships

  • Quality recreation and organized sports programs

Types of Diversion Programs

Truancy diversion programs are designed to accommodate the special needs of defendants charged with failing to require that their child or children attend school.

Misdemeanor diversion programs that affords first time offenders an opportunity to immediately accept responsibility for their actions, seek rehabilitation, and divert their cases from the criminal court system.

Felony Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program is a diversion program operated by the Florida Department of Corrections. The purpose of the PTI program is to afford first time felony offenders the opportunity to avoid the stigma of a criminal conviction by diverting their case from the trial court process.

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Diversion Program is designed for their offenders who wish to participate, the program is aimed at reversing the cycle of domestic violence and keeping the family unit intact.

DWLS Diversion Program (Driving while License suspended) is designed to promote public safety, to encourage drivers to drive safely with a valid driver's license and with appropriate insurance coverage, and to satisfy their financial obligations.

Diversion for Juvenile cases

All youth who are referred to law enforcement offices in the state of Florida for a misdemeanor or non-violent third degree felony for the first time (prior referrals to Promise and / or civil citation are not considered) are referred to a diversion program. Notice that some law enforcement offices may differ in the referrals for juveniles previously accepted in another diversion program.

Juvenile Drug Court

There is a two track program for Juvenile drug court:

Track one:

Youth charged with misdemeanor, non-violent 3rd degree felony or with 2nd degree felony offenses involving the purchase of a controlled substance who are identified as having a substance abuse issue or being at risk for such.

Track two:

Youth who have substance abuse problems but who do not fit the above requirements.

Civil Citations are issued in lieu of arrest to misdemeanor offenses up to 3 times.

PROMISE program is for students who are given the chance to avoid being arrested for certain misdemeanor offenses committed on school grounds.

Juveniles who are referred for diversion and or court supervision may have a variety of conditions or sanctions of supervision to follow:

  • Restitution (payment) to the victim(s)

  • No victim contact

  • Community service hours

  • Letter of apology to the victim(s)

  • Curfew

  • Forfeiture of driver’s license

  • Avoid contact with co-defendants, friends, or acquaintances who are deemed to be inappropriate associations

  • Referrals to local social service agencies

  • Substance abuse or mental health counseling

The diversion program helps many youth rehabilitate back into society with new perspectives on civil conduct in our communities. The youth are monitored for their progress and the diversion program officials use this information to adjust the program according to the successful progress of the youth that complete. Florida diversion programs are community based and family friendly giving extensive opportunity for youth to gain good citizenship for long term life development.

The YES Plan (Youth-Empowered Success) is a type of Community Assessment Tool (CAT) that helps Juvenile Probation Officers and contracted case managers in utilizing the information gathered through the CAT assessment to establish meaningful goals and actions with the youth and their families. The Yes Plan is specifically directed towards youth by the intervention process that changes the personal traits and develops characteristics or behavior of the youth that reduces criminogenic tendencies.

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