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Friendship Diversion Services / Programs
Diversion

The process is initiated either by the prosecutor or defense counsel as a means of diverting the defendant away from formal prosecution.    When the defendant reports to our office for intake we take their history including employment, family, education, finances, health, use of drugs/alcohol, friends, associates and any criminal history.   Friendship then enters into an agreement with the defendant, which sets forth the amount owed the victim and, if payments are necessary, the amount of the monthly payment, the total community service hours to be performed, the fee to be paid to Friendship and its monthly payments.  Some defendants have requirements for an evaluation for chemical dependency or domestic violence.  Defendant will sign a release of confidentiality to the treatment agency ensuring we receive compliance reports  as the defendant participates in treatment. In addition Friendship will work with the defendant to assist them in obtaining employment, or, in some cases, better employment or more hours.  We also refer defendants to community support in areas of housing, clothing, workshops, counseling and the like.   If the defendant does not comply with the agreement we inform the deputy prosecutor and defense counsel who then determine whether the defendant should continue in the program or return to Court for potential sentencing.   Most defendants (70+%) complete the program and, as a result, the victim is restored financially, the community receives the benefit of the community service plus the reduction in costs for the criminal justice system. The defendant, not only has accepted responsibility for their criminal act, but as a result of completion the case is dismissed enabling them to continue their life without a criminal conviction and all the negative connotations thereof.

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Pre-File Diversion

For the past three years Friendship has provided supervision of pre-file cases.  This was initiated out of the Thurston County Prosecutor�s office in a further move to develop an accountable  and responsive system for low level offenders without involving the prosecutors or the Courts.  They put together a list of offenses that automatically go to Friendship and a second list of offenses that must be approved by a deputy prosecutor before referral.  Once received Friendship sends a letter to the accused informing them they may avoid prosecution if they contact our office within a set period of time.   If they contact us we see them in person and do a general information intake and assign the sanction.  For instance, all MIP offenders will complete Alcohol/Drug Information School, perform 10 hours of community service and pay our fee.  A short period of time (usually 3 months) is established for completion of the sanctions.   Once they are complete a letter goes to the Prosecutor�s office informing them of same and the case completes.    Should the accused deny the offense or have questions they are informed they must seek counsel.    On those occasions when the accused does not respond in the time allocated, the file is returned for filing; and accused who do not comply with the sanctions also are returned for filing of the complaint.   The sanctions are the same for any individual who could be charged with the offense and are developed with a response to the offense in mind.     For those accused who respond to the initiating letter this has been a highly successful program and has saved time and expense for the Prosecutors who have chosen to adopt this program.

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Day Reporting

Defendants sentenced to day reporting may be either pre-trial defendants or sentenced defendants.  Sentenced defendants are given the opportunity to adhere to the day reporting rules in lieu of jail time saving considerable tax dollars.  Day reporters are managed eight hours each day, five days per week.  We support these defendants, who are unemployed, in job search and employment opportunities.  In some cases we refer for GED studies or high school diploma completion and, less often, they become engaged in enrollment in community colleges.  Each defendant operates off a daily schedule we have approved.  All movement including employment is verified through an independent source.  Defendants must check in and out at every per day in person.   Defendants pay a daily fee for their day reporting sentence.  Some jurisdictions provide a subsidy for this service.

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Community Service

Distinct from the community service component of the diversion program, some defendants are ordered by the Court to perform community service hours in lieu of jail time or, in some cases, fines.  Friendship staff provide these defendants with approved sites in the community and then supervise their schedule for compliance and completion. All reported hours are verified with the site supervisor. Again the staff work with the defendant for resolution of other problems including employment, education and the like.   Fees are paid by the defendant, with the fee dependant on the number of hours ordered.

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Electronic Home Monitoring

Defendants are referred for these services differently in different jurisdictions.  Some defendants are sentenced to EHM, and some are in pre-trial status and still others are referred a result of a planned jail space reduction.  The devices, manufactured by Track Group, monitor both through GPS and cell technology and we also have the ability to use another company�s landline devices in instances where GPS or cell is not reliable.    We also have alcohol monitoring testing available using supervised remote breath alcohol test technology.  Defendants pay a per day fee for electronic monitoring and an additional fee when alcohol monitoring is also required.  Alcohol monitoring only is also available.       In some counties the contract  provides for billing to the county in the event the defendant is indigent.   Again, Friendship Diversion provides support and referral for employment, education, workshops, treatment and community resources. Friendship provides all of its services to each defendant regardless of the source of their fee.

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Money Management and Budget Workshops

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In House Programs
Friendship Diversion Services staff provide workshops on money management, budgeting and check writing. We also provide a theft awareness workshop for appropriate defendants.

In two counties we currently provide Thinking for a Change, a cognitive behavior series of workshops.

We make use of community based organizations for workshops and counseling in many disciplines including parenting, grief, anger management, and the like. We also, of course, provide lists of all certified chemical dependency treatment and domestic violence agencies. 

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