The ‘success’ of formal diversion programs for youth: Understanding why alternatives to court are so popular among youth and law enforcement.
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The diversion of young people from the traditional court process has been supported for many years. Much of the research on diversion policies and program has focused exclusively on how diversion programs operate, such as whether programs actually divert and the types of youth who are diverted. While many have speculated on how young people might view and experience diversion, a thorough examination of how the young people perceive diversion, is noticeably absent from the literature. Using data from interviews with 119 police officers; 106 young offenders who participated in one of two pre-charge diversion programs; and 54 youths who were sent to court (and later diverted from the court process), this paper explores how these youth viewed their experiences in diversion