Youth diversion programs aim to route young people away from the remaining elements of the traditional criminal justice process after their arrest. This report evaluates a pilot diversion program—the DAT-Y (Desk Appearance Ticket-Youth) Program—designed for 16- and 17-year-olds who have been arrested and set to appear in adult criminal court in Kings County. By completing alternative programming, participants can have their charges dismissed, thus reducing the social and economic barriers that accompany a criminal record.
The program's immediate stated goals for its young participants are 1) system diversion, 2) increased access to service providers, and 3) less severe case outcomes. Study results suggest the DAT-Y program can effectively achieve its immediate stated goals, all while not compromising public safety.