April 28, 2011
More than 80 participants from across Massachusetts joined CfJJ at Good. Fast. Cheap. (Pick All Three). Why Diversion Works for Kids.
The diverse audience heard from Gail Garinger, the Child Advocate for Massachusetts, who vividly illustrated the need for diversion programs by recalling cases that came before her when she was a Juvenile Court judge. She called for action on diversion, saying “We need to develop ways to offer diversion programs across the state – to track their operations with careful data collection.”
Keynote Speaker Lourdes Rosado from the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia described the efforts in Pennsylvania over the past five years to make diversion a statewide priority, including the development of 17 principles for diversion and – beginning this summer – the launch of three pilot programs. (For details, see her powerpoint presentation).
Panelists from Roca, Communities for Restorative Justice, the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office, the Cape and Islands’ District Attorney’s Office, and the Youth Advocacy Department described a variety of approaches to diversion, the role that community groups, clerks and district attorneys’ offices can play – and some of the concerns that defense counsel have about diversion.