Pretrial diversion changes

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams today announced the creation of a “Diversion Courts Unit” to coordinate several pre-trial diversion programs in his office.

Williams said the new unit will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Derek Riker, 38, a city prosecutor for five years.

Williams called changes part of “focusing our resources on violent offenders. By diverting more non-violent offenders into programs that will address their needs, these individuals are less likely to become repeat offenders.”

Diversion programs are an alternative to prosecution and trial are used in misdemeanors and other lesser crimes and with some first-offenders. Generally, the participant undergoes counseling and is put on a probationary period. It the participant successfully completes the program, the charges are dismissed and the criminal record is expunged.

Among the District Attorney’s diversion programs are Accelerated Misdemeanor Program (AMP), Small Amount of Marijuana program (SAM), Bench Warrant Court, Drug Treatment Court and DUI Treatment court.

The Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) program and Veteran’s Court will remain under the supervision of Pre-Trial Unit Chief Guy Garant, Williams said.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments