In New York, there is increasing concern about the best way to deal with crime. One approach is to use diversion programs. These are tools to help people address minor law violations with alternative programs that don’t involve jail time.
The advantage of diversion programs is that they have better outcomes than jail time. Jail can often lead to future criminal acts for a variety of reasons. Being in jail takes away economic opportunities and makes it harder to get a job later on. Jail is also a risky place because of the availability of addictive drugs. Diversion programs replace jail with job training, coaching, therapy, resource navigation, probation, and other tools.
There are many different kinds of diversion, and they can take place anywhere from pre-911 to pre-trial. Each type is appropriate for a different kind of crime and case. What they all have in common is the goal of diverting the person away from the criminal justice system and into an environment that has a better chance of getting them back on the right track. Diversion programs have a track record of success– people who go through them are a lot less likely to commit crimes in the future than people who go through the conviction process and go to prison. This also costs the taxpayer less money because it is a lot less expensive than prison.
Diversion programs are not one size fits all– they can be customized to the case. But they are a good way to create more productive citizens while lowering crime and saving the government some money at the same time.