Home > Policies > Promote legislation creating judicial discretion to increase youth access to diversion alternatives

A “diversion alternative” is an option to address petty offenses by youthful offenders outside of the formal juvenile justice system. These diversion alternatives include anger management, crisis intervention as well as drug and alcohol education.

Current Maryland law allows for intake officers to propose a diversion; however, we are pushing for amendments that would also allow judges to propose diversion.  This expansion of judicial discretion makes sense as judges already dismiss so many cases that diverting away early will save resources, reduce stress and trauma to families as well as ensure speedier justice.

For more information on this bill, please see legislative priorities.