Pretrial Diversion: Program Tracks Offered
The District Attorney’s Office offers a variety of Diversion Program tracks to promote positive behavior change. The District Attorney and/or Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case recommends which track is best suited for a particular offender. Program tracks include:
Precharge Diversion Track
This program is one that offers an agreement between the District Attorney’s Office and the offender prior to any formal criminal charges. This type of agreement allows motivated first-time offenders to complete conditions that will be beneficial to them. Offenders sign an agreement by which they agree to remain law abiding and complete conditions such as to pay restitution; engage in community service work; secure needed psychiatric, alcohol and/or drug, or other counseling, complete a restorative justice session, and/or attend specific classes. If the offender successfully completes the Precharge Diversion Program the District Attorney’s office agrees not to file criminal charges.
Pretrial Diversion Track
This program is one in which eligible offenders can divert out of the formal criminal court process. Offenders sign an agreement by which they agree to remain law abiding and complete specific conditions required, such as to pay restitution; engage in community service work; secure needed psychiatric, alcohol and/or drug, or other counseling, complete a restorative justice session and/or attend specific classes. They agree to take other appropriate measures to assure criminal behavior is not repeated. In return for the successful completion of the program, the District Attorney’s Office agrees not to proceed with criminal prosecution.
Note: Even if a charge is eventually dismissed or amended due to compliance with the Pretrial Diversion Program, the case itself may remain on public records, possibly, indefinitely.
Treatment and Diversion (TAD) Track
In January 2014, the St. Croix County District Attorney’s Office was awarded a Treatment and Diversion Program grant through the Wisconsin Department of Justice. This grant provides funding to expand and enhance the St. Croix County Diversion Program, specifically to include offenders whose primary reason for involvement in the criminal justice system was their substance use.
TAD is a 12 to 24 month diversion program specifically designed for non-violent offenders for whom substance abuse is a contributing factor in their criminal activity. TAD allows for diversion of criminal charges while receiving treatment and services. The services provided in TAD are directly linked to the assessed risk level and criminogenic needs of the offender. Case Management, drug and alcohol testing, cognitive -behavioral therapy and treatment plan goals are common with TAD participation.
Note: Even if a charge is eventually dismissed or amended due to compliance with the TAD Program, the case itself may remain on public records, possibly, indefinitely.
Overall Goals of Diversion
- To promote positive behavior change through supportive services and monitoring of the offender.
- To provide victims with appropriate restitution.
- To provide early intervention and allow rehabilitative services to be provided in an attempt to correct behavior that led to the offense.
- To reduce recidivism.
- To reduce costs associated with the formal court process.
This program is for offenders who do not have a criminal record of prior violent crimes and have not been previously granted a diversionary program or conditional discharge. This program is designed for adults, unless a juvenile has been waived from the juvenile jurisdiction. The offender must pose no further threat to the community. The offender must be willing to be assessed for risk level and criminogenic need areas through completion of a Correctional Offender Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (COMPAS) assessment prior to entrance in the Diversion Program.
Criteria for Diversion
- Misdemeanor and felony charges are accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- Offender must be a citizen of the United States.
- Voluntarily agree to participate in the program.
- Restitution is limited to $3,000 dollars or less.
- Offender is in the program 6 months to 2 years depending on the offense and the offenders’ needs.
- Offender must pay $160 service fee. $80 up front and $80 due within 30 days of starting the program.
Offenders meeting the Diversion Program criteria are referred to the program by the District Attorney and/or Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case, following a review of the pending charges. After an additional review of the offender’s prior criminal record and history, and all relevant facts are obtained, the District Attorney and/or Assistant District Attorney will offer the offender the opportunity to participate in the program.
If the offender is interested in the program a COMPAS assessment will be scheduled and completed. The Diversion Program Coordinator obtains the results of the assessment and drafts a proposed Diversion Agreement. A copy is then provided to the offender or his/her defense attorney. The offender then makes a decision to participate in the program or go through the normal court process.
Termination from the Diversion Program
A person may be terminated for the following reasons:
- Providing false information to the Court or Diversion Program staff during the screening and/or entrance into the program.
- Committing a new felony or misdemeanor offense during the Diversion period.
- Failing to pay timely restitution pursuant to the restitution plan.
- Failing to successfully complete any condition of the Diversion Agreement.
- Violating any rule or condition of the program.
- Failing to maintain scheduled contact with the Diversion Program staff.
The success of the program relies heavily on the mindset of the offenders going through the process.
If the offender complies with all terms of his or her Diversion Agreement and commits no state or federal law violations during the length of agreement, the case is dismissed or amended to a lesser violation.