Any change to traditional justice processing must address the need of ensuring public safety, reducing victimization, and holding individuals accountable for their behavior. A pre-arrest diversion program includes law enforcement discretion to issue a citation for selected offenses rather than incur the cost of transportation, booking, potential jail time and the cost of traditional justice processing. At the same time, the individual committing the offense is held responsible for their actions by agreeing to an assessment and selected sanctions such as community service and restitution, if appropriate. This approach also provides access to substance use disorder and mental health services when a need is indicated.
The goal is to prioritize and maintain community safety while holding a person responsible for their actions without incurring an arrest record. System accountability is increased by improving access to the right information, by the right people, at the right time.