cases from the criminal justice system emerged as a viable
option in 1967. Currently, there are 35 pretrial diversion
programs operating in Louisiana. These include several programs
without a formal staff, which are run exclusively by the District
Support for pretrial diversion programs is based on the belief
that not every criminal violation warrants a formal courtroom
prosecution. By sparing appropriately selected first time
offenders the expense of trial and the collateral consequences
of a criminal conviction, successful divertees are restored
to useful citizenship. Indeed, properly structured diversion
programs were hailed early on as an innovative rehabilitation
Pre-trial Diversion Program represents on of the most promising
correctional treatment innovations in recent years. Adaptable
both to adult and juvenile correctional populations, the concept
has received increasing recognition and endorsement as a rehabilitative
technique for early and youthful offenders. The technique
is to be distinguished from informal diversion practices,
in that pretrial (diversion) referrals are based on:
participation in manpower, counseling, job placement and
educational services for defendants placed in the programs,
of a real alternative to official court processing, i.e.
dismissal of formal charges for successful participants
reporting units totalled 181,388. This breaks down to an
arrest rate of 7,003 per 100,000 citizens. Louisiana now
has eleven adult institutions and four juvenile institutions.
the current drain on correctional resources, prosecutors nationwide
are recognizing the need to alternatives to incarceration.
Every three years, the National Assessment Program conducts
a survey on behalf of the National Institute of Justice to
bring to light issues that members of the law enforcement
community believe are most pressing. When asked to name the
areas viewed as most important for future research and evaluation,
prosecutors and other groups named alternative sanctions as
a top priority.
steps comprise the Grant Parish District Attorney's Office
Pretrial Intervention Program:
agency submits offense report to the District Attorney.
Attorney determines if the case appears to be suitable for
Case is forwarded to the Director of the Pretrial Program.
schedules a screening appointment, at which time the following
procedures are performed:
Candidate is notified that this program is strictly voluntary
and upon completion of the program, charges are dismissed.
history is obtained
Victim is contacted (if required).
Arresting Officer is contacted (if necessary).
If the individual is considered a candidate for the program,
he is placed on probation for up to 12 months. Conditions
of probation may include community service, counseling (i.e.
anger management, alcohol, drug counseling, MADD, etc.) and/or
the individual is declined, the case is returned to the District
Attorney along with an explanation for being declined.