The primary purpose of the Fayette County Juvenile Court Diversion is to prevent formal court involvement for youth who have had no previous court history. The Diversion Program is based on the philosophy that not all cases are best handled through the formal court system.
Individuals referred to the Diversion Program are assured of the following due process rights:
A child who is referred to a diversion program may choose instead to have the matter handled officially by the court.
The child will be expected to admit or deny the alleged behavior at the onset of the diversion hearing. If the child admits the alleged behavior, the hearing officer may develop a diversion contract for the child to complete. If the child denies the alleged behavior, the case may be transferred to the formal court process. The hearing officer has the discretion to refer any case to the formal court at any given time
The child has a right to consult an attorney before agreeing to program participation
Any statement made by the child during participation in a diversion program or during negotiations leading to such participation is inadmissible as evidence in any subsequent adjudicatory hearing relative to the original charge as it relates to the child who was in the diversion program. Statements and/or documents in the diversion program may be used in the prosecution of a co-participant who is formally charged
The benefits of the Diversion Program are that if the youth and parent(s) complete the program contract, the case will be handled informally with no official juvenile court record. If, however, the program is not completed, the case will be referred to Juvenile Court for a formal hearing.