Program Descriptions

The Diversion Center offers four alternatives to prosecution programs. Adult Felony, Misdemeanor and Violation Diversion and the FAST Program. The programs share the same mission and resources, below is a brief description of each program.

Adult Misdemeanor (A & B) Diversion

Offender Profile:  First time adult offender, non-sexual related crimes, non-violent related crimes, and non-domestic violence related crimes, and no driving under the influence related crimes.

Program Length:  The program takes misdemeanor participants approximately 4-6 months to complete.

Program Components:  Weekly case management meetings, participants must remain drug and alcohol free, drug testing, tour of a correctional facility, must be full-time employed (32 hours a week), or a full-time student, educational requirement (high school diploma or GED), 5 life skill classes, 50-100 hours of community service, restitution if applicable, $400.00 program fee.

A recent study in 2005 by the University of New Hampshire showed that participants who successfully complete the Misdemeanor Diversion Program had a 15% recidivism rate where non-graduates had a 44% recidivism rate. The overall successful completion rate was 55%.

VIOLATION DIVERSION

Offender Profile:  First time adult offender, non-sexual related crimes, non-violent related crimes, and non-domestic violence related crimes.

Program Length:  The program takes violation participants approximately 3 months to complete.

Program Components:  Weekly case management meetings, participants must remain drug and alcohol free, drug testing, tour of a correctional facility, must be full-time employed (32 hours a week), or a full-time student, educational requirement (high school diploma or GED), 5 life skill classes, 25 hours of community service, restitution if applicable, $200.00 program fee.

Adult Felony Diversion

Offender Profile:  First time adult offender, non-sexual related crimes, non-violent related crimes, and non-domestic violence related crimes, and no driving under the influence related crimes.

Program Length:  The program takes felony participants approximately a year to complete.

Program Components: Weekly case management meetings, participants must remain drug and alcohol free, drug testing, tour of a correctional facility, must be full-time employed (32 hours a week) or a full-time student, educational requirement (high school diploma or GED), 10 life skill classes, 250 hours of community service, 20 hours of progress group, restitution if applicable, $475.00 program fee.

  

A recent study in 2005 by The University of New Hampshire showed that participants who successfully complete the Felony Diversion program had a 15% recidivism rate where non- graduates had a 48% recidivism rate. The overall successful completion rate was 34%.

FAST PROGRAM

The FAST Program is the latest endeavor of the Merrimack County Diversion Center. This program was started in September of 2003; the FAST Program targets those age 16 and older that are charged with an alcohol or marijuana offense.  The program has been enthusiastically received in Merrimack County and has received the largest number of annual referrals among the programs at the Diversion Center. Over 2,600 individuals have been referred to the FAST Program from 2003-2011.

MISSON STATEMENT

Fast is an acronym that stands for First time Alcohol and Substance Treatment. The mission of the FAST program is to provide first time drug and alcohol offenders with the information and services to prevent them from committing additional drug and alcohol crimes in the future.

Offender Profile:  First time offender of either a violation/misdemeanor alcohol or marijuana offense.

Program Length:  The program takes participants approximately 3 months to complete.

Program Components:  Weekly case management meetings, participants must remain drug and alcohol free, drug testing, substance abuse education class totaling 12 hours of instruction, correctional facility tour, $375.00 program fee.
According to a study conducted by The University of New Hampshire in 2005, the majority of FAST referrals complete the program, which on average is approximately 77%.  The recidivism rate for graduates of the FAST Program is approximately 16% a figure that is very similar to the recidivism rates for graduates of both the felony and misdemeanor diversion programs. For those participants who don’t complete the FAST Program their recidivism rate is approximately 25%.