Assignment Writing Help on Diversion and Probation

Diversion and Probation

            The criminal justice system in the United States continues to tackle many criminal cases, including high profile murder cases, rape, robbery and assault. These are handled by professionals within the criminal justice system, who help law enforcement agencies to ensure there is justice among aggrieved parties. The justice system heavily depends on certain processes such as diversion and probation to facilitate the process.

            Diversion is whereby a judge diverts an offender to other possible ways of dealing with a criminal than harshly prosecuting him or her (Moak & Carlson, 2012). It is used in instances where the prosecution finds it unworthy to continue with the prosecution process. It is mostly used to handle petty disputes within the communities. Diversion reduces burden on the court process in terms of reducing caseloads. This method has evolved since the 1970’s, which saw the establishment of various diversion programs by the law enforcement assistance administration. It soon became popular among the juveniles where youth service was used as a method of handling juvenile delinquents, after the successful passing of the Juvenile justice and delinquency Act.       

            Probation on the other hand evolved based on very petty offenders. It is defined as a process in which the court orders an offender to be under a supervision towards a given course in the community as an alternative to incarceration (Kemshall, 2003). Probation came into the limelight in 1925 after the passing of a federal law. Its first use was in an instance where a drunkard was charged on a very petty offence, leading him to being put in custody. During the conviction process, it was established that such a petty offender would be placed on an abstinence program, which would be evaluated in order to ascertain its effectiveness. During that time, the offender was a volunteer in probation for a number of years in which his involvement in volunteering was meant to establish the effectiveness of volunteering in crime reduction. In years later, the program came into practice through the enactment of the probation statute in 1851, and the consequent establishment of the probation system in the criminal justice system. In the current criminal justice system in the United States, probation is used as the slightest form of leniency that is used as a corrective measure on petty offenders. The two methods, probation and diversion are alike in that they tend to lessen the courts work, by involving the offenders to community work outside the court process as an alternate correction measure. The methods involved the offenders serving a community.

            However, despite the methods having no strain in the justice system, diversion as a correctional method is very cost effective, given the fact that it is an out of court matter that would not warrant the services of an attorney, while at the same time one’s records would not appear in the criminal database records. On the other hand, it is a less effective way of preventing offenders from doing those acts. This is because the offenders may find the correctional method lighter and would pretend but continue with the vice in the future.

            Probation, on the other hand, is also cost effective as it involves out of court terms. It is also disadvantageous especially to the community, where they may not feel comfortable with an offender or criminal living in their midst. This will invoke security, especially when the criminal has not fully renounced his or her criminal acts. These correctional methods, however, may not be effective especially when handling certain criminals, especially drugs related criminals that are addictive and may need the counseling part. It would be beneficial also in certain age groups whose movement and habits is easier to control within a given community. The methods are not effective since offenders may feel unpunished especially when light community work is involved hence there is the likelihood that it would lead to higher recidivism rates.

            Some of these professional such as probation officers are often in management tasks involving the management and assessment of the risk an offender may bring upon being released back to the community. They have a broader role in working together with the court system, communities and families, as well as assessing the likelihood of an offender being involved in their past criminal acts. The type of duty involving probation officers working the communities exposes them to great danger such as death, especially when it involves drug gangs and assault cases. This is because such criminals occupying certain communities may be in possession of firearms. This is after such an incident occurred in the Orange County in Mayfair Avenue after gun shots were directed to probation officers on a probation search in Anaheim. This, however, could be prevented through strategic training and alliances with the community. This would enable probation officers to be informed regarding search strategies in order to ensure safety in the environment they work in and to reduce fatal exposures on their lives.              


Kemshall, H. (2003). Understanding risk in criminal justice. Berkshire: Open University Press.

Moak, S., & Carlson, R. L. (2012). Criminal justice procedure. Cincinnati, Ohio: Anderson.