Transcript of DA Krasner’s remarks:
My name is Larry Krasner and I have the privilege of serving as Philadelphia District Attorney. Let’s talk about how, since taking office in January, 2018 the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has worked to keep people accountable while avoiding unnecessary convictions and unnecessary jail by DIVERSION.
What is diversion? It is a court-supervised program that allows a defendant to take positive steps rather than go to jail. It’s not easy. Those steps may include drug treatment, unpaid community service work, classes, restitution, fines and supervision.
And it’s also not for everyone. In general, DIVERSION is for people who have no or minimal criminal records and who are charged with less serious offenses. It’s for our veterans, for youth who have shown good potential, for people who have led good lives in their communities. It’s for decent people who deserve another chance and who may be driven toward crime by a conviction that will leave them unemployed and underemployed for the rest of their lives. There are over 20 diversionary programs in Philadelphia.
When a person charged with a crime completes DIVERSION, they can usually clear their record which increases their chance to stay clean, get and hold that job, go back to school, and support family and friends who will walk with them on a better path. Used carefully, DIVERSION prevents crime.
Currently, we are increasing the use of diversion and working on improvements and expansions to diversion with our criminal justice partners that we hope over time will help to improve employment, address addiction, reduce domestic violence, support our veterans, increase education, lift up children and their families, and reduce government waste. That’s what crime prevention looks like and it builds up society.
You can learn more about how our office is handling cases differently at our public transparency website. Click on Diversion Unit for a list of all our diversion programs.
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