The Pretrial Diversion (PTD) Program is an alternative to prosecution which diverts certain candidates from criminal prosecution by placing them into a program of supervision and services monitored by Pretrial Services. Candidates can be diverted before being charged or at any point prior to trial. The U.S. Attorney, in his/her discretion, may divert any individual against whom a prosecutable case exists and who is not:
- Accused of an offense which should be diverted to the state for prosecution (under existing U.S. Department of Justice guidelines).
- A person with two or more felony convictions.
- A public official or former public official charged or accused of an offense violating public trust.
- Accused of an offense related to national security or foreign affairs.
Participation in the PTD program is voluntary, and must be recommended by the prosecutor. Pretrial Services conducts an investigation to determine whether or not a candidate is appropriate, and recommends conditions that must be satisfied by the participant. Participants who successfully complete the program will not be charged or, if charged, will have the charges against them dismissed; unsuccessful participants are returned for prosecution.
The major objectives of the PTD program are:
- To prevent future criminal activity by diverting individuals from prosecution and placing them into community supervision and services.
- To save prosecutorial and judicial resources on first-time offenders and low-level cases.
- To provide a mechanism for restitution to communities and victims of crime.
The period of supervision is not to exceed 18 months, but may be reduced.