A diversion program in the criminal justice system is a program run by a police department, court, a district attorney's office, or outside agency designed to enable alleged offenders of criminal law to avoid criminal charges and a criminal record. The purposes of diversion are generally thought to include relief to the courts, police department and probation office, better outcomes compared to direct involvment of the court system, and an opportunity for the offender to avoid prosecution by completing various requirements for the program. These requirements may include:
- Education aimed at preventing future offenses by the offender
- Restitution to victims of the offense
- Completion of community service hours
- Avoiding situations for a specified period of time in the future that may lead to committing another such offense (such as contact with certain people)
Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties. A third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate their own settlement (facilitative mediation). In some cases, mediators may express a view on what might be a fair or reasonable settlement, generally where all the parties agree that the mediator may do so (evaluative mediation).