News & Events

On the Radio with Heather Hobart and Roland Lajoie: January 2021

Court Diversion Program

Court diversion was the 1st program we had here at LRC. It started in 1979 and is one of the 1st of its kind in Vermont. In the beggining, the court diversion program was only offered to youth. The program was created to give youth a different option other than going through the court system and ending up with a criminal record. The program was so successful that it started to be offered to adults as an option in the 1980s.

Sometimes people make bad choices in their life and they need to be able to move forward. The goal of court diversion is to keep people from having a criminal record that can really get in the way of having a job and even different school options. During the court diversion process our participants meet with staff and other trained volunteers to discuss the harm they’ve caused and how they can make it right with the victim.

Many of the participants that come through the court diversion program are struggling with an underlying mental health or substance misuse challenge. Participants are supported and connected to resources in the community that can help them be successful. The hope is to help uncover any challenges that may keep them from successfully staying out of the court system.

85% of participants that participate in court diversion are successful and do NOT come into contact with the court again!