Unlike most states, Massachusetts does not currently provide funding for or require juvenile diversion of any kind. Instead, police, district attorneys, and court personnel offer a discretionary and disparate array of programs and practices, with no requirements to follow best practices or track what they do. The result is that children across the Commonwealth receive starkly different opportunities to avoid court involvement depending on where they live. Given the lack of statutory mandate or other support, efforts to offer these programs, which are voluntary and paid for out of existing funds, are laudable. However, it is critical to assess whether the programs we pay for are offered fairly or are effective.
Diversion: Report Recommendations
For a PDF copy of the report, please click HERE.
For the complete "Massachusetts Juvenile Diversion Assessment Study" funded by the Office fo Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, please click HERE.
Juvenile Diversion Guidebook. Models for Change Juvenile Diversion Workgroup.
It Takes a Village: Diversion Resources for Police and Families (infographic also available). VERA Institute