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"The pre-trial diversion program was initiated in 1996. It began as an experimental program for the city of Monroe which was intended to serve as a source for affording first time offenders (for certain offenses) an opportunity for a second chance."
Because it was the only program of it's kind for a municipality within the twin cities, it quickly became known as an early offender's "first" second chance. In just a few years, the pre-trial diversion program has survived turbulent times in order to provide counseling services, educational services, and rehabilitation services to first time offenders in an effort to return them to society through a productive channel. In the last 3 years, the diversion program has enrolled over two thousand participants. The pre-Trial Diversion program has proven to be a growing success that benefits those who participate, the community, the prosecutor, the courts, and the jails.
Our Mission is to deter misdemeanor offenders from committing offences, while providing them with a second chance to reform and contribute to a safer community.
Generally speaking, to be eligible for the program, an individual should have no previous convictions, the crime in question must be one from a prescribed list of convictions, and the offender must be at least 18 years of age. Certain components to the pre-trial diversion program include (1) regular attendance at counseling sessions (2) responsible thinking sessions (3) anger management classes and (4) drug abuse training sessions. In addition to class attendance, each participant is required to perform and complete a community service project specifically designed to "pay back a debt" to the city of Monroe in an attempt to show the program is a positive contributing factor to the municipality.
Persons arrested or summoned to appear on the following offenses shall not be eligible for the pre-trial diversion program unless otherwise directed by the city prosecutor: DWI, Traffic, Crimes against persons over sixty, Drug offenses committed in Drug-Free Zones, etc.
ARREST: Pre-Trial obtains prospective client's name from jail or court or prosecutor's office.
PRE-TRIAL STAFF: The staff contacts client, determines eligibility, initiates paperwork.
REFERRAL: All eligible clients enter before arraignment and billing by prosecutor (or after billing in some cases).
CLIENT PARTICIPATION: Each client must maintain contact with staff, pay diversion fee, complete project, attend sessions, and abide by writing agreement.
TERMINATION: Termination may be positive (successfully completing the program) or negative (re-arrest, failure to comply with rules, etc.)
RETURNED & DISMISSAL: If negative termination, client is then placed in normal judicial process and prosecuted fully. If positive termination, pre-trial officer recommends dismissal and expungement of pending charge.