Orange County Drug Diversion Policy

Orange County Drug Diversion Policy

Research shows that while criminal activity is deterred by arrest, weather prosecution or punishment follows has little to no additional impact. The prosecution of less serious offenses diverts resources from the prosecution of the most serious offenses; unnecessarily clogs up the the criminal justice system; unjustly criminalizes poverty; and disproportionately targets black and brown communities. Additionally, research shows that is is the arrest, and not the prosecution or punishment, which deters crime. The Office should divert cases where incarceration would not further the goals of fairness and pubic safety. the Office acknowledges that there is no one-size -fits-all approach to diversion and instead created diversion programs aimed at meeting the unique needs of its participants.

The policy provides for three different diversion opportunities that have varying degrees of intensity. This decision will be made based on a person’s criminal history, current charges, and treatment needs. If a lower level of intervention proves inadequate to address the needs, the case will be escalated to a higher level of intervention. If diversion programs ultimately prove insufficient to rehabilitate or treat the individual, prosecution may be pursed. Those levels are:

Level One: The first level offers minimal punishment and provides education for individuals who committed the offenses of misdemeanor  possession of cannabis and/or possession of drug paraphernalia. All Level One defendants will be offered the opportunity to attend a one-hour cannabis education class.

The purpose of the class is to educate individuals on the law of cannabis and potential dangers of the drug. A discussion of the legal consequences of drug possession will also occur. This class should be made available monthly in the jury assembly room. The class will be taught by State Attorney’s Office Community Engagement/Education Unit. Upon completion of the class, charges will be dismissed.

Level One Offenses include: Misdemeanor possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of trace amounts of drugs.

 

Level Two: The second level is for participants with no or minor recent criminal history who committed offenses involving simple possession of illegal narcotics, felony possession of cannabis, and possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver. All these offenses are non-violent, low level felonies.  To satisfy the Level Two Drug diversion Policy you must complete 4 hours of community service and a substance abuse course. More information can be found here. The drugs that fall under this category are highly addictive and can be extremely dangerous. Individuals who possess these narcotics are at a greater risk of forming an addiction. The goal of this level of diversion is to educate the individual allow him or her to discuss their personal situation with a trained and qualified professional.

Level Two Offenses include:  Simple possession of illegal narcotics (These drugs include heroin, cocaine, felony cannabis, and fentanyl, among others),  Possession of cannabis (misdemeanor or felony amounts) with intent to sell.

If a participant in Level Two Diversion is rearrested for an offense that is diversion eligible or fails to provide proof of substance abuse education and community service hours, he or she should be referred to Level Three Diversion with required individualized programming designed to address the root causes of his or her behavior

Level Three ( Drug Court of Probation): The third level is for participants ho have a drug addiction that requires treatment. Level Three Diversion involves participation in Drug Court ( if the individual is eligible and Drug Court will address his or her needs) or participation in our already established Pre-trial diversion program.

 

Level Three Offenses include:  Offenses listed in level two but it appears these individuals have a drug addiction that requires treatment.

 

 

Read Orange Counties Full Drug Diversion Policy here

Orange County Drug Diversion Policy

Research shows that while criminal activity is deterred by arrest, weather prosecution or punishment follows has little to no additional impact. The prosecution of less serious offenses diverts resources from the prosecution of the most serious offenses; unnecessarily clogs up the the criminal justice system; unjustly criminalizes poverty; and disproportionately targets black and brown communities. Additionally, research shows that is is the arrest, and not the prosecution or punishment, which deters crime. The Office should divert cases where incarceration would not further the goals of fairness and pubic safety. the Office acknowledges that there is no one-size -fits-all approach to diversion and instead created diversion programs aimed at meeting the unique needs of its participants.

The policy provides for three different diversion opportunities that have varying degrees of intensity. This decision will be made based on a person’s criminal history, current charges, and treatment needs. If a lower level of intervention proves inadequate to address the needs, the case will be escalated to a higher level of intervention. If diversion programs ultimately prove insufficient to rehabilitate or treat the individual, prosecution may be pursed. Those levels are:

Level One: The first level offers minimal punishment and provides education for individuals who committed the offenses of misdemeanor  possession of cannabis and/or possession of drug paraphernalia. All Level One defendants will be offered the opportunity to attend a one-hour cannabis education class.

The purpose of the class is to educate individuals on the law of cannabis and potential dangers of the drug. A discussion of the legal consequences of drug possession will also occur. This class should be made available monthly in the jury assembly room. The class will be taught by State Attorney’s Office Community Engagement/Education Unit. Upon completion of the class, charges will be dismissed.

Level One Offenses include: Misdemeanor possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of trace amounts of drugs.

 

Level Two: The second level is for participants with no or minor recent criminal history who committed offenses involving simple possession of illegal narcotics, felony possession of cannabis, and possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver. All these offenses are non-violent, low level felonies.  To satisfy the Level Two Drug diversion Policy you must complete 4 hours of community service and a substance abuse course. More information can be found here. The drugs that fall under this category are highly addictive and can be extremely dangerous. Individuals who possess these narcotics are at a greater risk of forming an addiction. The goal of this level of diversion is to educate the individual allow him or her to discuss their personal situation with a trained and qualified professional.

Level Two Offenses include:  Simple possession of illegal narcotics (These drugs include heroin, cocaine, felony cannabis, and fentanyl, among others),  Possession of cannabis (misdemeanor or felony amounts) with intent to sell.

If a participant in Level Two Diversion is rearrested for an offense that is diversion eligible or fails to provide proof of substance abuse education and community service hours, he or she should be referred to Level Three Diversion with required individualized programming designed to address the root causes of his or her behavior

Level Three ( Drug Court of Probation): The third level is for participants ho have a drug addiction that requires treatment. Level Three Diversion involves participation in Drug Court ( if the individual is eligible and Drug Court will address his or her needs) or participation in our already established Pre-trial diversion program.

 

Level Three Offenses include:  Offenses listed in level two but it appears these individuals have a drug addiction that requires treatment.

 

 

Read Orange Counties Full Drug Diversion Policy here

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