The program is one in which eligible persons can divert out of the formal criminal court process. The goal is to help reduce court time, jail overcrowding and recidivism. An incentive is to divert out of the formal criminal court process and avoidance of a criminal record. Termination of the contract resumes criminal court proceedings. This may result in criminal convictions and a criminal record.
Offenders must be 17 years or be waived from the juvenile jurisdiction, if under 17 years of age. Offenders are ineligible if they have a prior criminal record. The length of the offenders agreement depends on the nature and seriousness of the offense, his/her attitude, commitment and educational or counseling needs. Agreements average 3 to 36 months.