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183 Saint Paul Street Burlington
VT 05401
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About Us


Court Diversion History

Court Diversion Programs in Vermont were originally funded in 1979 by Federal dollars from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and disbursed by the Vermont Commission on the Administration of Justice. In addition to that funding, the Turrell Fund of East Orange, New Jersey, provided three years of supplemental funding for the development of the original Juvenile Program.

Originally, seven pilot Court Diversion projects were initiated throughout the State of Vermont. Success of those pilot projects quickly led to the availability of Court Diversion in every county and the formation of the Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs (VACDP). In 1980, the Vermont Legislature voted to fund the Court Diversion Program for juvenile first time offenders for all counties in the State.

By 1982, several Court Diversion Programs had begun to handle adult first offender cases in addition to juvenile cases. When the adult portion of the Court Diversion Program proved to be as successful as the juvenile portion, the Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs requested that the Legislature amend the statute to include adults and increase funding to provide for an expanding caseload.

Such a bill was enacted in 1984. Rather than providing for the full cost of the adult program, the Legislature required that each Court Diversion participant pay a fee to the Program to help ensure its continuation.


Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program (YSASP) History:

In 2000, the General Assembly enacted changes to the Possession of Malt Beverages law (7 VSA, Section 656).

The intent of that legislation was to change violations of underage possession and consumption of alcohol to a civil ticket from a criminal violation, require substance abuse screening and to encourage more minors to participate in the Teen Alcohol Safety Program. This law affects those aged 16-20 years old.

However, multiple violations are occurring, despite the intent of the law of giving offenders limited opportunities for a clean record. Therefore a secure database has been created that will enable law enforcement and court diversion programs to efficiently track all violations of Title 7, Section 656.

Many county States Attorney's have now implemented a policy that requires a minor only be allowed TWO alcohol violations under Section 656 before being criminally charged with a Possession of Malt Beverages Offense.

See the Y.S.A.S.P link for more information on the contract requirements of the program.