Every county in every state should do this! Many courts have diversion opportunities these days, but they should be greatly enlarged and expanded. It just makes sense!
Excerpts from the Article:
A recent program that helps people committing minor offenses avoid jail time is working by cutting costs at the jail, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. In 2017, Pinellas County avoided booking more than 1,700 people into the county jail through their Adult Pre-Arrested Diversion Program, or APAD, which launched in 2016.
More than 30 percent of the people admitted to the program were charged with retail theft.
As a result, offenders admitted into APAD do not face jail time. Instead, they complete community service or pay fines.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s office said in a letter released earlier this year that the program is working by cutting major costs of taking these offenders to jail. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri also says it creates consequences for breaking the law.
She feels offenders need to face consequences of their actions and it’s best to report all incidents to law enforcement.
Gualtieri said most people who are admitted to the APAD program follow the rules and pay all fines.
In fact, the sheriff’s office said they pay more than $17,000 in restitution last year.
Letter to the Editor – Divert and Save $$$$- 4/7/18
With the work I do, I get hundreds of articles on criminal justice sent to me each month. This one about the program in Pinellas County, FL, stood out as a very common sense solution to our mass incarceration problem. Although many courts, including some in Delaware, have diversion programs, they typically are offered to few, and come into play only after one has been imprisoned. Think of the savings to be achieved if every county in America followed this program in Florida! Minor offenders should be thus diverted, made to pay restitution and to do community service. It’s a win/win! READ http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/more-than-1000-people-avoid-jail-time-record-through-pinellas-adult-pre-arrest-diversion-program-with-letter-to-the-editor-kra/
Anyone in Delaware listening?
Ken Abraham, former Deputy Attorney General, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, 302-423-4067, Dover, DE
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