PHOENIX- Following on the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office creation of a new Diversion Program Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has announced its selection of MCAO to participate in its Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative. This initiative will provide training and assistance in supporting MCAO’s focus on reducing recidivism through programs and substance abuse treatment.
MCAO expanded diversion and deferred prosecution efforts two years ago with a pilot diversion program for low to medium risk felony offenders called the Felony Pretrial Intervention Program (FPIP), to complement substance abuse treatment. This office is committed to enhancing diversion options as an effort to reduce recidivism among felony offenders through targeted treatment while preserving resources for traditional prosecution for violent and repetitive offenders.
“The technical assistance provided by this program will help to further develop and implement our FPIP pilot, to increase participation, and to ensure that our program achieves our goals to reduce recidivism and protect the public,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.
The Prosecutor-Led Diversion Initiative is a national training and technical assistance program designed to help prosecutors plan, implement and evaluate new prosecutor-led diversion options. Funded under the Second Chance Act, the program seeks to encourage and provide assistance to prosecutors who are building the next generation of diversion programming: programs that serve individuals who are otherwise jail or prison bound and who frequently suffer from mental illness or drug dependency issues, or are victims of human trafficking.
A recently completed National Institute of Justice studies report of prosecutor-led diversion established the efficacy and cost benefits of prosecutor-led diversion programs. MCAO expects this program will prove to be a valuable asset to the pursuit of justice in Maricopa County.