In September 2012, Mr. Richardson launched the State’s Attorney’s Office first ever diversion program. The program is primarily available to first time offenders of non-violent, misdemeanor offenses. The purpose of the program is to provide an avenue for first time offenders to obtain counseling/training through the program courses available. The main goal is to rehabilitate the offender so that he or she will not return to the criminal justice system. This program also assists in reducing costs and resources associated with a court trial for these offenses, allowing the State’s Attorney and the Courts to use those expenses and resources for more serious matters. The diversion program is used by the State’s Attorney and his staff in a number of different ways. Some cases are handled directly through the diversion program and allow the offender to avoid the criminal justice system altogether and other cases involve the diversion program as a requirement in a plea agreement with the defendant.
The State’s Attorney’s Office offers multiple courses within its diversion program that include traffic safety, anger management, substance abuse, shoplifting and underage drinking.