§163. Juvenile court diversion project

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/03/007/00163
Published: 2015

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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.

(b) The

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.

(c) All

diversion projects receiving financial assistance from the Attorney General

shall adhere to the following provisions:

(1) The

diversion project shall only accept persons against whom charges have been

filed and the court has found probable cause, but are not yet adjudicated.

(2) Alleged

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.

(3) The

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.

(5) All

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).

(6) Information

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


(7) The

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.

(8) Diversion

projects shall be set up to respect the rights of participants.

(9) Each

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:

(1) the

participant has been convicted of a subsequent felony or misdemeanor during the

two-year period, or proceedings are pending seeking such conviction; or

(2) rehabilitation

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.

(g) Inspection

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.)