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Diversion Program

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What is the Diversion Program?

The Diversion Program is a a collaboration of President Judge Katherine B. Emery, District Attorney Gene Vittone, Public Defender Glenn Alterio, Magisterial District Judges and Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.

The Diversion Program will afford Magisterial District Judges an alternative to current practice.  Washington County’s non-violent, low level offenses (M3 or ungraded misdemeanors), that are distinctly or typically drug related [i.e. 780-113(a) (32), 780-113 (a) (16)] can now be referred into a program that would postpone the need for a preliminary court date and any jail days. Participants are first time offenders or have a minimal criminal history. Successful completion of this three (3) month program will result in qualifying charges being withdrawn.

Who Refers to the Program?

Referral to the program come from any Magisterial District Judge or  the District Attorney’s office and must be approved by a representative of the District Attorney’s Office operating in cooperation with a Washington Country MDJ.

What Does it Cost?

The cost to complete the three (3) month program is between $150 and $500 depending on income guidelines.  To be enrolled in the program you must have a deposit of $50.

Two Program Goals

The Diversion program goal is to help intervene in the lives of offenders who, without such intervention, will continue to re-offend and, more than likely, experience an increase in their interaction with the criminal justice system.

What is included in the program?

• Screening and assessment of drug and alcohol problems.
• Referral to intensive outpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs in Washington County.
• Random drug screens.
• Pyschoeducational program
• Case coordination including help accessing various community resources (education, housing, transporation, recovery supports, etc).
• Help with developing a Personal Recovery Plan.
• Thirty-two (32) hours of mandatory community service.
• Telephone recovery support (Recovery check ups and support phone calls from a CRS).
• Introduce and engage participants in the Recovery Community and • • Recovery Support Groups.
• Support before, during and after treatment.

Termination from the program

Participants who refuse to comply with the conditions of the program may be terminated from the program and face their qualifying charges at the appropriate judicial level.  Termination from the program will be determined by the referring Assistant District Attorney and the Magisterial District Judge after receiving the noncompliance report.

Requirements for Completion of the Diversion Program

Monthly reports will be made by the Washington County Diversion Program Case Manager to the Magisterial Participants, Magisterial District Judges, Public Defender, or other defense counsel.

Those who have completed all of the requirements will be awarded a certificate of completion and a follow up letter will be supplied to the referring Assistant District Attorney, Magisterial District Judges, Public Defender, or other defense counsel to dispose of their case.

For more information, contact Laura Dieterle at 724-223-1181 ext 117 or email laurad@wdacinc.org.