Friendship was initially formed in the late l960's through the efforts of community volunteers in conjunction with the Thurston County, Washington, prosecutor. The goal was and is to provide alternative sentencing options for the prosecutor, defense counsel and the courts in an effort to restore victims, reduce criminal justice costs and offer the defendant an opportunity to avoid conviction.
Through the years Friendship Diversion Services has expanded into other counties and cities across the State of Washington. We have also expanded services from its initial focus of Superior Court to include District Courts, where requested.
Friendship Diversion Services has also expanded services beyond diversion to include day reporting, drug testing, supervision of community service hours and electronic home monitoring including alcohol monitoring. Not all of these services are available at each office but any combination may be made available on request.
Friendship Diversion Services maintains itself through fees collected from the defendants. City or county contracts may provide for some payment for cases referred for electronic home monitoring to ensure its availability to indigent defendants. This reduced cost is far less than the price of a jail bed.
On December 31, 2017 Friendship Diversion Services were supervising 1,091 persons statewide and we believe the following statistics are of interest: