An Examination of Philadelphia Diversion Courts
Hosted by the Civil Rights Committee, Criminal Justice and Public Interest Sections
This CLE course will examine the process behind and procedures of Philadelphia County diversion courts in criminal cases. Our faculty will review costs and fees in criminal diversion programs. Is diversion court "priced to sell," or have we priced people out of the "market?"
The following will be covered within this CLE presentation:
Brief overview of Philly’s diversionary programs
-- Benefits to the defendant
-- Benefits to the public (cost savings, reduced recidivism?)
Paying for diversionary programs
-- What are the associated costs?
-- What does the defendant have to pay?
-- Where does the money go?
-- Compare cost of diversionary programs to typical court costs imposed on criminal defendants
What happens when someone is offered participation in a diversionary program but are unable to afford it?
-- How often do people opt out of diversionary programs because they are too expensive?
-- Are indigency waivers available?
-- If so, how is indigency determined?
--- At what point in the plea bargaining process is indigency assessed?
--- Is this determination made in a formal court proceeding? If not, how?
--- Are there standards for who is entitled to free diversionary programs?
Should we offer diversionary programs that are not accessible to everyone equally?
-- Does this exacerbate racial and economic inequalities in the criminal justice system?
-- What does Philly do well in terms of making these programs available to the most vulnerable people in society, and what can be improved on?
-- What Philly models should be imported to other counties?
-- What do other counties do better (if anyone knows)?
Expert panel answers your "need-to-know" questions when considering Diversion programs.