Diversion is available for youth (ages 12 to 17) and adult accused persons. Pre-charge diversion is where the police can refer a matter to the program instead of laying a charge. Post-charge diversion is where the Crown Attorney may refer a matter to the program and withdraw the charge upon completion of the Plan of Healing from the program. A person who accepts responsibility for the incident can be considered for diversion. This is not the same as pleading guilty or a criminal conviction. Once a case is diverted, the Justice Program works with the client to develop and complete a Plan of Healing. The program facilitates a justice circle to develop the Plan. The circle is not a court that decides guilt. The client must accept responsibility before coming to the circle. The client’s plan may include referrals to counselling, restitution or community service work.
Some offences are generally not eligible for diversion including spousal assault, sexual offence matters, child abuse matters, offences involving the serious injury or death of a person, and weapons offences.