Adult diversion

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office recognizes that there are times when public safety is best served by diverting first-time offenders from the criminal justice system.

Adult diversion programs refer these offenders to social services, chemical dependency or mental health resources. First-time offenders are closely monitored to make sure they meet program expectations. The goals set include accountability, taking advantage of services offered, remaining law-abiding, completing community service, and paying restitution. Every successful diversion reduces costs in the criminal justice system and reduces the number of repeat offenders.

The Hennepin County Attorne's Office administers adult diversion programs for drug and property crime offenders.

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About adult diversion and Diversion Solutions

Hennepin County has offered adult diversion for more than 35 years. The County Attorney’s Office took over the program in 1999.

Since that time, the county has had a contract with Operation de Novo to provide the diversion services. Operation de Novo was a pioneer in the field.

In the fall of 2016, the county attorney’s office requested proposals for adult diversion providers that would be cost effective, offer improved completion rates,streamline drug testing and treatment, and emphasize payment to victims through restitution.

In December, after reviewing proposals, the office selected Diversion Solutions LLC. The Hennepin County Board authorized the contract in May and the contract takes effect July 1, 2017.

About Diversion Solutions

Diversion Solutions has more than 17 years of experience operating diversion programs and working with communities in and around Hennepin County.  They have a proven track record of providing better outcomes for law enforcement agencies, offenders, victims and courts.

Diversion Solutions accomplishes this through:

  • Education that is targeted to prevent future offenses
  • Full and timely restitution to victims
  • Advisory services to aid and monitor progress
  • Support that focuses on reducing recidivism and building safer communities

Contact Information

Hennepin County Government Center
Room C-1070
300 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN, 55487
hcao@diversionsolutions.net
(612) 601-0699

Diversion guidelines

Eligibility

The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office determines diversion eligibility and has discretion to refer participants. Program requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • 4th and 5th degree felony possession;
  • Property crimes of less than $5,000;
  • No prior felonies;
  • No prior diversion;
  • No possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon;
  • Offense does not involve violence.

Program Components

Participants will be expected to sign a contract outlining the conditions of the program including, but not limited to:

  • Regular check-ins;
  • Random drug testing;
  • Community service;
  • Chemical dependency assessments;
  • Restitution payments

Program Termination

Offenders will be terminated from diversion and returned to court under these circumstances:

  1. The offender is charged with a new felony or any new offense involving a gun;
  2. The offender is charged with a new same or similar non-felony offense, convicted of a new misdemeanor domestic assault, a new DWI/DUI or any new gross misdemeanor offense;
  3. The offender fails to maintain contact with the diversion program for 30 days;
  4. The offender tampers with a urinalysis test;
  5. The offender commits three major violations of diversion conditions.

Major violations include:

  • Unfavorable discharge from any required diversion programming;
  • Positive, diluted or missed urinalysis test (a first positive urinalysis upon entering diversion does not count as a violation);
  • Unexcused absence from any required meeting with the diversion provider;
  • A missed restitution payment without cause;
  • Failure, without cause, to complete restorative justice or community service components;
  • Failure to complete payment of restitution without cause.

For violations other than those listed above, the diversion provider may impose sanctions short of diversion termination. These may include: increase in urinalysis requirements, increased monitoring, restorative justice, community service or contract modifications. If the offender does not agree to the sanction, he/she shall be terminated from diversion and returned to court for formal prosecution.

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