The Diversion Services Fund is mandated by ARS: §8-321. Under this statute the county attorney may divert the prosecution of a juvenile who is accused of committing a delinquent act or a child who is accused of committing an incorrigible act to a community based alternative program or to a diversion program administered by the juvenile court. If the juvenile acknowledges responsibility for the delinquent or incorrigible act, the juvenile probation officer shall require that the juvenile comply with one or more of a series of options. Successful completion of a diversion program allows the youth to avoid further prosecution and entry into the juvenile justice system.
The Juvenile Diversion Services Fund provides funding for programs to assist juveniles on Diversion to meet the terms of their Diversion agreement, enhance accountability, provide community safety, enhance skill development and change behavior. Programs include a continuum of delinquency prevention, substance abuse education, general outpatient services and community-based alternative programs provided by a network of contracted vendors. The County Juvenile Probation Departments may also operate some local diversionary programs such as community work crews, teen courts, monetary restitution, restorative justice panels or make use of municipally-funded programs as needed. If the juvenile acknowledges responsibility for the delinquent or incorrigible act, the juvenile probation officer shall require that the juvenile comply with one or more of the following conditions:
- Participation in unpaid community restitution work.
- Participation in a counseling program that is approved by the court and that is designed to strengthen family relationships and to prevent repetitive juvenile delinquency.
- Participation in an education program that is approved by the court and that has as its goal the prevention of further delinquent behavior.
- Participation in an education program that is approved by the court and that is designed to deal with ancillary problems experienced by the juvenile, such as alcohol or drug abuse.
- Participation in a nonresidential program of rehabilitation or supervision that is offered by the court or offered by a community youth service agency and approved by the court.
- Payment of restitution ot the victim of the delinquent act.
- Payment of a monetary assessment.
The AOC and the County Probation Departments manage this fund on a monthly basis through utilization and financial management processes.