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Navigating the Criminal Justice System : How the Diversion Program Provides Alternatives to Incarceration 

This post will explain how the diversion program provides alternatives to incarceration. We will walk you through some important statistics that will explain how this program works and what you need to know on the topic.

Jails Are Overflowing

The jails and prisons in the United States are overflowing with people. With that said, research has shown that the traditional method of arrest is not going to benefit the person or community. Instead of putting more people into prisons and jails, the diversion program has been put into place. This is an alternative method to incarceration. Plus, it helps ensure that those who are in the program are ready to be in the world again without a problem. 

The Diversion Program 

The diversion program was put into place to move people away from traditional court systems. This program provides alternatives to incarceration, arrest, and prosecution. Historically, incarceration was believed to protect the public greatly. However, new studies suggest that it is not as effective as it was thought to be. In fact, studies also show that it does not have any impact on crime reduction rates. 

The diversion program works on the underlying causes that may have led to the unusual/criminal behaviors. Addressing the root cause of the instability within the community can help improve safety in the community. 

Some of the things that may be looked at within the community are:

  1. Having trouble accessing food. 
  2. Having trouble finding housing. 
  3. Having trouble finding a job.
  4. Having trouble accessing proper educational resources. 
  5. Having undiagnosed or untreated mental health conditions. 

How the Diversion Program Works 

It is important to approach the diversion program with an open mind. No diversion program will be the same as the next person. The goal of diversion programs is to ensure that the person has limited encounters with the legal system. It is put into place to avoid arrest and traditional measures taken by the judicial system. 

There are diversion programs available across the country. Each program is different and will provide different outcomes for each individual. Keep reading to learn about a few diversion programs that are available. 

Pre-Police Encounter 

Many 911 calls are not emergencies. Pre-police diversion recognizes that as well. This means that instead of sending police officers, they may send pre-police diversion programs. This could be a crisis hotline and use civilians to help address problems within the community. This also eliminates the need for a police presence when it is not needed. 

Pre-Arrest Program 

This is used to help reduce the number of people within jail or prison facilities. It is a program used for misdemeanors and low-offense offenders. Instead of punishment in jail or prison, the program will provide people with proper support and services to address underlying issues. The program is great for those who struggle with substance abuse or mental health issues. 


If someone is arrested, the prosecution holds your fate. The prosecution can divert the charges before they are formally charged. You may also hear this as a prosecutor-led interview. This process allows the state to reduce the number of people in incarceration facilities. 


If a charge has been given, a pre-trial diversion program can be allowed. This program will allow people to go through certain requirements such as rehabilitation, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, and more. It allows people to avoid jail time and do their punishment outside of high walls. 

How Diversion Programs Help 

The diversion program was designed to focus at the root of the problem. Incarceration will not solve all problems. For example, if someone uses drugs and is convicted, they may benefit from a rehabilitation center instead of being behind bars. 

The program pushes people to be part of the community. When someone has access to the community and resources, they are going to be more effective members of the community. 

People have always been labeled. However, the justice system believes that people are more than labels. The program focuses on diagnosing underlying health issues or problems that could have led to your crime. 

If someone participates in a diversion program, they are almost fifty percent more likely to reduce their risks of being a repeat offender. They are also over fifty percent more likely to obtain employment after 10 years of the program. 

Hiring A Lawyer For Help Is Key To Success

Navigating the criminal justice system can be quite tricky, however. When someone goes behind bars, they are not being active community members. With diversion programs, people are aided with finding employment, housing, mental health services, and other services/programs. 

Keep in mind that just because you believe you qualify for a diversion program, does not mean that you will automatically be placed in one. You need to hire an experienced defense attorney to ensure that you are receiving the best route of legal action possible.

Contact the Barkemeyer Law Firm for all your criminal defense needs. Ensure you are bringing all details surrounding the case and all documentation that has been filed/reported thus far. 


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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