Juvenile Diversion Program
Pine County Probation implemented the Juvenile Diversion program in 1973.  Diversion is a program available to first-time juvenile offenders charged with minor offenses as an informal alternative to appearing in court.   

The Pine County Attorney’s Office screens juvenile matters to determine if they should be dealt with through diversion or formally charged and heard in court. Most first time, non-felony, non-traffic offenders are referred to the Diversion Program.

Rather than appear in Court the juvenile and his/her parents attend a meeting at the Probation Office with Pine County Probation's Contract Diversion Agent.   The Contract Diversion Agent explains the Diversion Program, informs them of their rights, and ascertains if they voluntarily want to participate in the Diversion Program.  If they wish to participate, the Contract Diversion Agent gathers some background information and sets up a Diversion Contract.  If they do not wish to participate, the matter is referred back to the County Attorney's Office for formal prosecution. 

The Diversion Contract requires the juvenile to complete conditions similar to probation requirements, for example curfew, restitution, attendance at education classes, counseling, or performing community service work.  The conditions of the contract between the juvenile, parents, and Diversion Contract Agent must be met within 90 days.  Failure to complete the Diversion Contract will result in a referral back to the County Attorney’s office for formal prosecution.

Diversion can offer an excellent opportunity for the youth to learn from his or her mistake following swift action and without Court involvement or a juvenile court record.  This is a one-time program. The Contract Diversion Agent is to make follow-up calls to youth and parents while they are in the program. This provides some additional support for the youth and parents, as well as, further assistance in seeking out additional resources when problems are identified. A second offense is referred directly to Court.