The St. Croix County District Attorney’s Office, through its Diversion Program, provides a variety of services to promote positive behavior change with criminal offenders. The program is designed to meet the needs of offenders in an attempt to deter any future criminal behavior. Offenders receive coordinated assistance appropriate to their needs and the conditions of the Diversion Agreement.
Through the direction and supervision of the District Attorney, the Diversion Program offers offenders the opportunity to avoid a criminal record by undertaking conditions that will benefit the offender, victim and the community as a whole. The program supervises low- to medium-risk offenders (similar to probation) in an attempt to promote positive behavior change, to minimize loss to victims of these crimes through payments of restitution, to reduce the burden on the court and allow resources to be devoted to more violent, high-risk offenders.
How is a diversion different from probation?
An offender placed on probation is found guilty by the judge or jury, or pleads guilty to a charge and is sentenced. Probation involves formal supervision and results in a criminal conviction and criminal record.
An offender in the Diversion Program is not sentenced although a plea may be accepted. Since the offender enters the program voluntarily, any offender may elect to go to court rather than participate in the program. In addition, supervision provided by the Diversion Program is done on an informal basis. The offender must follow through and meet the conditions of his/her agreement and maintain contact with the Diversion Program staff.
Note: Even if a charge is eventually dismissed or amended due to compliance with the Diversion Program, the case itself may remain on public records, possibly, indefinitely.