Adult Diversion Model: Alternative Measures

Program snapshot

Age group: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-64)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Adult offenders

Topic: Recidivism

Setting: Rural/remote area; Urban area; Community-based setting; Criminal justice setting

Location: New Brunswick

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Adult Diversion program has existed in New Brunswick since 1998. In 2014, the New Brunswick Adult Diversion model (Alternative Measures) was redesigned to provide effective, efficient and timely community-based alternatives to the court system by holding eligible adults accountable for their actions at the community level while also linking them with required interventions to prevent future offending. The model relies on involvement of police, crown, non-government organizations (NGOs), community volunteers and other government service providers.

Goals

The main goals of the Adult Diversion program are to:

  • Hold eligible adults accountable for their actions at the community level;
  • Improve the use of justice system resources by providing timely and effective alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system; and
  • Prevent and reduce future crime by ensuring earlier access to the right services at the right time for those who require them.

Clientele

The clientele for the Adult Diversion are adults (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) age 18 or older who have committed an offence and have not yet been charged (pre-charge) or who have been charged, but the Crown has agreed to stay the charge pending successful completion of the Alternative Measures program (post-charge).  

To be eligible for Alternative Measures, the following conditions must be met:

  • Sufficient evidence exists that an offence has been committed;
  • The offence is on the Province’s Adult Schedule of Offences;
  • The adult takes responsibility for the act that forms the basis of the offence; and
  • Participation is in the best interest of the person alleged to have committed the offence AND not counter to the best interest of the victim and society.

There is a separate program for youth between the ages of 12-17 who are in conflict with the law called Extrajudicial Sanctions. For more information, consult the program description entitled New Brunswick Youth Diversion Model: Extrajudicial Sanctions.

Core Components

The new diversion models were authorized by the Attorney General of New Brunswick in June 2014. The program is administered by the Department of Justice and Public Safety through the Community Services and Crime Prevention Branch. Changes were implemented as of April 1, 2015 and include:

  • Modifications to eligibility criteria;
  • Improved program oversight. Includes introduction of a Program Manager and establishment of the Provincial Diversion Steering Committee (PDSC) which is led by DPS and includes senior level representatives from Justice, Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police, Health, Social Development, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL) and Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD);
  • A province-wide increase in the number of diversion coordinators;
  • Introduction of evidence-based screening and assessment tools to gauge level of risk and potential mental health needs;
  • The use of multidisciplinary Alternative Measures committees;   
  • Focus on intervention in addition to accountability;
  • The option to use a restorative justice process when deemed appropriate given the views of the victim and circumstances surrounding the offence as a way to repair the harm caused to the victim and community by the offence; and
  • Introduction of robust data collection for process and impact evaluation.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: Attorney General Authorization under section 717 of the Criminal Code of Canada; applicable policy and program documents;  provincial program manager and oversight body (Provincial Diversion Steering Committee); regional oversight of program coordinators; program coordinators;  establishment of multidisciplinary Alternative Measures committees.
  • Partnerships: Strong partnerships are required with referral agents (Police and Crown) as well as service providers who develop and implement intervention plans as part of the Alternative Measures committee (includes non-profit organizations such as the John Howard Society, First Nations groups and provincial Departments of Health, Social Development and Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour).
  • Training and technical assistance: Initial training is required on the diversion model for both the program coordinator and Alternative Measures committee. Training is also required on the risk screening and assessment tools. 
  • Risk assessment tools: Criminogenic risk screening and assessment tools used for the adult program include the Level of Service Inventory-Revised: Screening Version and the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory, as well as the mental health screening tool, Global Appraisal of Individual Needs-Short Screener version 3.0.1 CAMH (Modified).
  • Materials & resources: Program Manual, Screening and Assessment tools, Mental Health Screening tool, Risk Assessment Interview Guides, Scoring Keys, program-related forms (consents, program agreements, etc.).

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The Adult Diversion program is authorized by the Attorney General of New Brunswick and delivered by the Department of Public Safety. There are several program co-ordinator locations in the province with services being provided at Probation Services offices and RCMP detachments.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

The Adult Diversion program has been operational since April 2015. To date, a process evaluation has been completed in an effort to ensure fidelity to program design. Planning for an impact evaluation is underway.

Cost Information

No information available.

References

Adult Alternative Measures Program – Brochure. Available from: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ps-sp/pdf/corrections/AdultAlternativeMeasuresProgram.pdf 

Provincial Diversion Steering Committee (2014). New Brunswick ADULT Diversion Model.

Ouellette, C. (2016). Adult Diversion Program Report. Prepared for Department of Justice and Public Safety, Government of New Brunswick.

For more information on this program, contact:

Department of Justice and Public Safety
Lisa Keddy
675 King Street
Fredericton, NB, E3B 1E9
Telephone: (506)453-6434
E-mail: lisa.keddy@gnb.ca
Website: www.gnb.ca/publicsafety


Record Entry Date - 2018-02-19

Date modified: