Diversion from Prosecution Scheme
Diversion from Prosecution provides an opportunity for someone accused of offences to be dealt with outwith the court system.
The aims of diversion are to:
- provide a disposal which, due to the personal circumstances of the person, is more satisfactory than prosecution; or
- through early intervention, offer a more effective means to prevent the re-occurrence of the offending behaviour.
The decision as to whether or not an individual should be diverted from prosecution is taken by the Procurator Fiscal, following receipt of the police report of any alleged offence.
Diversion programmes are tailored to the individual and aim to address underlying causes of offending. It is designed to prevent individuals entering the criminal justice system prematurely and to stop the cycle of offending.
Criminal Justice Social Work staff prepare assessment reports on individuals referred to the Scheme by the Procurator Fiscal. They also undertake the programme work, usually of 10 weeks duration, with the person. Once the work is completed the Procurator Fiscal is provided with a final report detailing the work done and commitment shown.
If satisfactory, the Procurator Fiscal will successfully divert the person from prosecution for the alleged offence. However, if unsuccessful, prosecution may follow