This intervention is designed to prevent children reoffending by providing an alternative to formal criminal justice proceedings.
Diversion is an approach to preventing reoffending by finding alternatives to formal criminal justice proceedings. Diversion can occur at different points in the criminal justice system: at the point of arrest, before charges are made, or in court through alternative forms of sentencing.
This intervention focuses on diversion that takes place before a formal charge and court proceedings.
In England and Wales there are two types of pre-court diversion:
1. Point-of-arrest diversion. Instead of arresting a child, the police refer them to the Youth Justice Team or other services for support. This option avoids formal criminal justice processes entirely. This option includes the use outcome 22.
2. Out-of-court disposals. This could involve a community resolution (resolution of an incident through informal agreement between the parties involved), youth caution (a formal warning issued by the police when it is not in the public interest to prosecute) or youth conditional caution (a youth caution where the child undergoes a compulsory assessment and package of interventions). The diversion process may support or require the child to complete an intervention programme. This could involve counselling, mental health interventions, employment training or restorative justice.
This funding supports the expansion of existing programmes commissioned by Youth Justice Services that are suitable for evaluation.