The Vermont Statutes Online
163. Juvenile court diversion project
(a) The Attorney
General shall develop and administer a juvenile court diversion project for the
purpose of assisting juveniles charged with delinquent acts. Rules which were
adopted by the Vermont Commission on the Administration of Justice to implement
the juvenile court diversion project shall be adapted by the Attorney General
to the programs and projects established under this section.
diversion project administered by the Attorney General shall encourage the
development of diversion projects in local communities through grants of
financial assistance to municipalities, private groups or other local
organizations. The Attorney General may require local financial contributions
as a condition of receipt of project grants.
diversion projects receiving financial assistance from the Attorney General
shall adhere to the following provisions:
diversion project shall only accept persons against whom charges have been
filed and the court has found probable cause, but are not yet adjudicated.
offenders shall be informed of their right to the advice and assistance of
private counsel or the public defender at all stages of the diversion process,
including the initial decision to participate, and the decision to accept the
diversion contract, so that the candidate may give his or her informed consent.
participant shall be informed that his or her selection of the diversion
contract is voluntary.
(4) Each State's
Attorney, in cooperation with the diversion project, shall develop clear
criteria for deciding what types of offenses and offenders will be eligible for
diversion; however, the State's Attorney shall retain final discretion over the
referral of each case for diversion.
information gathered in the course of the diversion process shall be held
strictly confidential and shall not be released without the participant's prior
consent (except that research and reports that do not require or establish the
identity of individual participants are allowed).
related to the present offense that is divulged during the diversion program
shall not be used in the prosecutor's case. However, the fact of participation
and success, or reasons for failure may become part of the prosecutor's
diversion project shall maintain sufficient records so that the reasons for
success or failure of the program in particular cases and overall can be
investigated by program staff.
projects shall be set up to respect the rights of participants.
participant shall pay a fee to the local juvenile court diversion project. The
amount of the fee shall be determined by project officers based upon the
financial capabilities of the participant. The fee shall not exceed $150.00.
The fee shall be a debt due from the participant, and payment of such shall be
required for successful completion of the program. Notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. §
502(a), fees collected under this subdivision shall be retained and used solely
for the purpose of the court diversion program.
(d) The Attorney
General is authorized to accept grants and gifts for the purposes of this
section, such acceptance being pursuant to 32 V.S.A. § 5.
(e) Within 30
days of the two-year anniversary of a successful completion of juvenile
diversion, the court shall order the sealing of all court files and records,
law enforcement records other than entries in the juvenile court diversion
project's centralized filing system, fingerprints, and photographs applicable
to a juvenile court diversion proceeding unless, upon motion, the court finds:
participant has been convicted of a subsequent felony or misdemeanor during the
two-year period, or proceedings are pending seeking such conviction; or
of the participant has not been attained to the satisfaction of the court.
(f) Upon the
entry of an order sealing such files and records under this section, the
proceedings in the matter under this section shall be considered never to have
occurred, all index references thereto shall be deleted, and the participant,
the court, and law enforcement officers and departments shall reply to any
request for information that no record exists with respect to such participant
inquiry in any matter. Copies of the order shall be sent to each agency or
official named therein.
of the files and records included in the order may thereafter be permitted by
the court only upon petition by the participant who is the subject of such
records and only to those persons named therein.
(h) Subject to
the approval of the Attorney General, the Vermont Association of Court
Diversion Programs may develop and administer programs to assist persons under
this section charged with delinquent, criminal, and civil offenses. (Added
1981, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1995, No. 47, § 1, eff. April 20,
1995; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2003, No. 157 (Adj. Sess.), § 11; 2005,
No. 198 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2006; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), §
28; 2009, No. 12, § 1; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § E.201.)