Source: (2010) Harrisburg, PA: Models for Change Initiative in Pennsylvania.

The Principles and Guide were developed in direct response to two key findings of a survey conducted in 2007 of county juvenile justice stakeholders, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and juvenile probation officers. First, although Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Act provides a statutory basis for diversion, most Pennsylvania counties currently do not have a formal written policy on diversion. Second, there is a need for statewide standards regarding diversion in order to ensure that diversion is made available to all eligible youth throughout the Commonwealth and is fairly administered. The Principles and Guide are provided as resources to assist counties in developing local policies and protocols that are consistent with the mandates of current law and best practice standards. Diversion is both a process (i.e., providing alternatives to adjudications for alleged juvenile offenders) and a program (i.e., the services the youth receives in place of a formal adjudication). This Guide addresses both aspects of diversion, and stakeholders similarly should address both aspects as they craft their own diversion policies and protocols.

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