Diversion Benefits and Limitations in Legal Context
Diversion, as a form of protection, presents different advantages and implementations. One of the benefits of diversion is that it reduces the workload on juvenile court prosecutors by directing minor cases to the probation department. Despite that referring to these responsibilities puts an additional burden on the probation department, the procedure considerably simplifies the whole process. The reduction of recidivism and prevention of further offending is another advantage of diversion. As mentioned by Merlo and Benekos (2019) in their book Juvenile justice system, The: delinquency, processing, and the law 29 different research conducted by Petrosino, Turpin-Petrosino, and Guckenberg, the diversion process negatively affected youth’s further delinquent behavior. In addition to that, diversion is recognized as practical to avoid labeling as delinquent by schools and communities. This fact is beneficial because bullying and labeling as delinquent could adversely affect youth well-being and mental health. One more advantage of diversion is its effect on the mental health and well-being of the youth. Even short-term confinement of juveniles in adult jails could seriously harm their mental well-being and cause stress, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide attempts. The records represent that the diversion procedure significantly eliminates this problem.
Diversion also has negative sides in its utilization for juvenile court. The common issue is that not all status offenders or low-level delinquent offenders fit the requirements of this program. Although all status offenders have similar characteristics regardless of the committed crime categories, professionals do not consider this fact. To elevate efficiency, professionals mainly work with minor cases barely related to the juvenile justice system. The best option would be to derive certain youth at the risk of committing more serious crimes. Moreover, creating psychological assessments and interviewing adult criminals to identify the pattern could help define future activity prerequisites. The method of diversion should be adapted for other crime categories. It is clear that the benefits of the diversion method outweigh the limitations.