Monday, April 20, 2015

Dr. Lepage of UAA and Prof. May of UAF to conduct evaluation of pre-trial diversion program in Anchorage

Dr. Cory R. Lepage, UAA Justice Center faculty, and Prof. Jeff D. May, J.D., UAF Justice Department, will be conducting an evaluation of  a pre-trial diversion program in the Anchorage Municipal Prosecutor's Office.  Phase 1 of the evaluation will focus on justice system cost savings as a result of this program.

The general goal of pre-trial diversion (PTD) programs is to "divert" offenders from adjudication and possible incarceration to a program with specific conditions for compliance.  The Municipal Prosecutor's Office established a pre-trial diversion alternative in 2001 which is typically offered for non-violent offenses to individuals with no or minimal criminal history.  Early in the processing of a case - often at arraignment - if program criteria are met, the offender is offered diversion as an alternative to traditional court case processing.

Participation in the program by the offender is voluntary, and the offender agrees to comply with PTD conditions which can include the payment of fines, community work service (CWS), and other applicable requirements.  If the offender successfully completes the PTD conditions, the case is dismissed.  If the pre-trial diversion conditions are not completed, the offender is subject to traditional court case processing.