Our diversion program is known for offering eligible youth a timely, meaningful way to take responsibility for their actions crimes outside of the court system. Clients referred to this program have little to no prior history. Typical referred offenses include shoplifting, minor consumption, tobacco, and curfew.
The diversion program is a collaborative effort between the Olmsted County Attorney’s office, Juvenile Corrections and the Community. The diversion panel engages the child as well as the parent in a discussion of the offense dynamics/ impact/ general concerns, and suggested responses. The panel then makes recommendations for next steps. Recommendations are intended to engage the child in taking responsibility, restore the victim/ community and offer youth opportunity for learning new skills and knowledge. This could include projects related to behavior/ impact, classes, letters of apology, restitution, community service, etc.
During calendar years 2015 and 2016, 391 youth participated in the diversion program. Of those, 332 have successfully completed their conditions and were diverted from court.
Diversion programs in Dodge and Fillmore Counties function independently, and are designed somewhat differently to match the unique needs of the respective communities.