Diversion Programs for First Time Offenders
The Diversion programs are run in collaboration with the Center for Life Skills and the Tucson City Prosecutor's Office. Former provider, Southwestern Intervention Services (S.I.S.) still maintains a clientele base from diversion matters entered into before October 15, 2012.
Diversion provides many first-time offenders an opportunity to participate in relevant counseling rather than proceeding through the court system and establishing a criminal record. Through counseling and classes, participants are guided toward alternative methods of managing and understanding the kind of behavior that lead to criminal activity.
Participants who successfully complete diversion receive a dismissal of the misdemeanor charge(s) from Tucson City Court and avoid a criminal record.
How it Happens
Prosecutors offer eligible defendants the diversion option in court. Participants cited with substance abuse charges attend substance abuse counseling. Participants cited for shoplifting, disorderly conduct, theft, etc., attend adult responsibility classes. Participants cited for specific animal code violations attend a humane education class.
In addition to collecting appropriate program fees and documents, Life Skills tracks defendants’ progress in counseling, takes appropriate action with those who fail to comply with program requirements, and prepares the documentation when defendants successfully complete the diversion program. The cost of the program is $250.00, payable upon registration. Additional fees may apply.
What Are The Advantages Of A Diversion Program?
- Upon successful completion of the program, your charges will be dismissed and you will have NO criminal conviction.
- Your case will NOT go to trial.
- You will NOT pay a fine above and beyond the program fees.
- You will be evaluated for the need and type of counseling appropriate to your offense.
- You will typically complete a counseling program consisting of a one-day, 7½ hour class in the least serious cases. Additional counseling will apply for those participating in Monitored Diversion.
- If restitution applies, you will be required to pay restitution up front to the victim through Life Skills.
WHAT DOES THE DIVERSION PROGRAM OFFER?
- Treatment or education to deter offenders from committing further criminal acts.
- Eligible offenders are held accountable for their actions by paying a fee to the program. The fee covers: the cost of the education classes, the cost of treatment, and the cost of prosecution.
- Restitution payments to the victims if this requirement is a condition of diversion.
- The program is considered successfully completed once all fees and restitution are paid, counseling and treatment is completed and all other conditions of the plea agreement have been met. Upon completion, the Prosecutor's Office will file a notice of successful completion with City Court and request that all charges be dismissed. Please note that participants who fail to meet all of the requirements of the diversion program in a timely manner, as indicated by the City Prosecutor's Office, will be removed from the program at the prosectuor's sole discretion, and be sentenced according to the terms of the plea agreement.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR DIVERSION?
- A defendant who has not previously enrolled in and completed the Prosecutor’s Diversion Program of the specific diversion type offered.
- The victim is not 15 years of age or younger, unless authorized by a prosecutor.
- No injury other than minor injury resulted from the current charges and the charges did not involve endangering, threatening or harassing behavior.
- No weapons or dangerous instrument was involved in the current charge.
- The current charge did not involve a domestic couple, relationship, hate crime, a victim who was a police officer on duty, or graffiti or gang-related activity, unless authorized by a prosecutor.
In all cases, the prosecutor will make the ultimate decision.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE DIVERSION PROGRAM?
- Intake, evaluation, referral and reports to the Court: $ 50.00
- Counseling /class fees: $ 50.00
- City fee to cover prosecution costs: $ 150.00
- Total cost of diversion program: $ 250.00
Possible charges not included in the costs of the program listed above include restitution were applicable, monthly assessments for Monitored Diversion, and other fees related to the diversion program.
In limited circumstances, Monitored Diversion may be available for certain domestic violence and other offenses. Monitored Diversion involves more intensive counseling, education, and supervisor than regular diversion and program requirements will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Bike Safety Diversion
In an effort to improve the safety of bicyclists in our community, the City Prosecutor's Office will dismiss a cyclist's civil traffic citation if he or she submits proof of completion of the Road 1 Safety class offered by the Pima County Bicycle and Pedestrian Program.
If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity you need to take the following steps:
- Register at www.BikePed.pima.gov or call 243-BIKE
- Bring proof of completion to the City Prosecutor's Office located at 103 E. Alameda, Suite 501 prior to your next scheduled court date
The class is free.
- Part 1 of the class lasts for 3 hours and includes a review of state and local laws and a discussion of crash types and crash avoidance techniques.
- Part 2 of the class is required for completion of the course and requires a bike in good ridable condition.
A cyclist who has had his or her citation dismissed through this program is not eligible for another dismissal for one year.
Mental Health Diversion
People suffering from serious mental illness who are cited for certain misdemeanor crimes are usually best served by receiving treatment rather than criminal penalties. Jail or fines have little effect when an individual's behavior is uncontrollable due to mental illness.
The Mental Health Diversion Progam (MHDP) was implemented to present mentally ill offenders charged with a misdemeanor the option of participation in community-based treatment programs instead of continuing forward with a standard prosecution.
The offender must meet specified criteria and be connected to an approved service provider to qualify. Candidates must agree to be monitored by the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona (CPSA), throughout the duration of the program, which is usually 180 days.
The Mental Health Diversion Program is a cooperative effort between the Tucson City Court, the Criminal Division of the City Attorney's Office, and the CPSA and its network of At-Risk Providers.