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Pretrial diversion programs have the potential to prevent future criminal behavior through intervention and community based services. This may be particularly true for specific populations of offenders such as those with mental illness, substance abuse disorder, and those with co-occuring disorders. Pretrial diversion programs take low-level offenders out of the jail population, both reducing system overpopulation and costs of incarceration. The programs also provide speedy case processing for minor crimes resulting in savings to the court system and personnel. Pretrial diversion can help an offender avoid a criminal conviction and potentially avoid future criminal violations. Results indicate that most Anchorage pretrial defendants comply with and complete the pretrial conditions in a very short time period, an additional savings in case processing time. This research details the initial assessment of the Anchorage Municipal Prosecutor Pretrial Diversion program. This assessment examines system savings in time and money, as well as policy implications for the justice system that may assist other jurisdictions as they consider implementing a pretrial diversion program.
Cory R. Lepage & Jeff D. May, The Anchorage, Alaska Municipal Pretrial Diversion Program: An Initial Assessment, 34 Alaska Law Review 1-26 (2017)
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/alr/vol34/iss1/2