Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $742,000)
Collaborative Diversion for Equitable Justice Outcomes (CDEJO) is an OAR diversion program run in collaboration with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Offices and other elements of the criminal justice system expanding alternative sentencing practices in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties for adult individuals that have been arrested. Prospective participants are identified by law enforcement, courts, or the Commonwealth Attorney’s Offices and referred to OAR. OAR services are based on a risk needs responsivity model (RNR) and assessments are performed to identify each participant’s individual needs and risk of continued criminal involvement. OAR makes a recommendation to the Commonwealth Attorney regarding an individualized case plan for each prospective participant and the expected timeframe required to complete the case plan goals. Case plans include OAR case management as well as programs and workshops through OAR and/or community partners. Case plans also include independent steps to be taken by the participant. The Commonwealth Attorney creates an offer for the defendant based on OAR’s recommendation. At the defendant’s first court date a “defer and dismiss” deal is entered, and a completion due date/final court date is set. OAR collaborates with the program participant to complete the agreed upon case plan and report that status of program compliance to the Commonwealth Attorney. At the final court date criminal charges are dismissed for all participants in compliance with program requirements. This program is designed to allow successful participants to have all records of the arrest, charge, and disposition expunged from their criminal record. The CDEJO program significantly expands the pool of defendants who are eligible for diversion by including participants with previous criminal justice system involvement, decreasing racial and socioeconomic inequities in the criminal justice system. This program is a significantly less expensive opportunity to hold individuals accountable for their actions, encourage behavioral change, maintain current low rates of incarceration at the local level, avoid the collateral consequences of incarceration, and decrease recidivism while reducing overall criminal justice system and social service costs. The CDEJO program puts services in place to provide better criminal justice system and community safety outcomes than traditional criminal justice system sanctions by identifying specific individual risk factors for engaging in criminal behavior and then planning and providing services that addresses those core problems, reduces criminogenic risk factors, and eliminates the negative impact of the collateral consequences of incarceration.