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What is a criminal diversion program?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Criminal

Criminal diversion programs offer individuals in Indiana an alternative to traditional court proceedings for certain non-violent offenses.

These programs aim to provide people with the opportunity to avoid a criminal record while addressing the underlying issues that may have contributed to their behavior. Indiana’s criminal diversion programs help to promote rehabilitation and reduce recidivism.

Pretrial diversion process

Pretrial diversion allows eligible individuals to complete a set of requirements in exchange for having their charges dismissed. The requirements may include counseling, which helps to look out for the person’s mental health. It may also have elements of punishment, such as community service and restitution. Successful completion of the program results in the dismissal of the charges. The goal is to allow participants to avoid a criminal conviction.

Examples of programs

Drug court is for individuals with substance abuse issues. Participants in this program undergo intensive treatment and counseling. They will also usually have to have regular drug testing and court appearances. Participants also gain ongoing access to resources for continued sobriety.

Veterans court is for veterans who enter the criminal justice system. This program provides veterans with access to specialized services, such as mental health treatment and housing assistance, to address the underlying issues that may have led to their situation.


Criminal diversion programs provide individuals with a second chance. The goal is to address the root causes of behavior and help individuals to stay out of the system. These programs also help to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system by diverting non-violent offenders away from penalties and pathways that can be costly.