Friendship Diversion Services
A private non-profit corporation
What does Friendship Diversion do?
Friendship Diversion Services contracts with prosecutors in some jurisdiction throughout the state to provide jail and sentencing alternatives for some criminal court defendants. Throughout supervision for diversion participants are expected to meet with staff on a regular basis, notify of any change in address or contact information and refrain from any violations of the law. The purpose is to monitor and assist participants by directing them toward self-motivation, skill enhancement (both social and employment) AND accountability for their actions.
Friendship Diversion Services currently is in contract to provide the following services to Clallam County, Pierce County, City of Lakewood, Thurston County, Okanogan County and Mason County. The Cities of Bellingham, Everson, Blaine, and Sumas are contracted for electronic monitoring programs. Diversion programs are not funded by City or County, each participant pays the fee for their program supervision and tax dollars are not used. Financial assessments are provided during the intake process to determine if participants meet eligibility per the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a reduction in their fee. In some jurisdictions, contracts allow for city or county assisted funding for electronic monitoring programs only.
Pre-Charge Diversion Pre-Charge diversion is considered for some offenders based on criteria set out by the prosecuting authority, and means the case is referred to diversion without filing charges in court.
If the offender agrees to participate, they enter into a contract between the prosecutor, Friendship and themselves with sanctions and fees outlined in the agreement. Typical sanctions include community service, restitution to victims (if any), treatment or anger management classes if appropriate and no further violations of the law.
If they succeed no charges are filed, if they do not, the prosecutor reviews and makes decisions to file charges and they proceed through the normal course of court action. A standard pre-charge program is 3 - 6 months.
Post Charge Diversion - After charges have been filed the prosecutors have the choice to allow a case to enter diversion rather than proceed to trial. A participant, who is offered and chooses to participate in diversion, after consultation with defense counsel, waives their right to a speedy trial and a trial by jury. They stipulate to the facts contained in the police report and agree to participate in diversion and the rules the diversion program outlines for their case. Sanctions are similar to Pre Charge; however, the post charge diversion participants will generally have more treatment requirements, financial restitution to victims and community service hours to perform.
Duration of Post Charge Diversion is one to two years in most cases.
Community Service Programs - The Courts may order an offender to perform community service work as a sentencing condition on a crime or probation violation. Friendship Diversion Services provides participants with a list of acceptable (non profit) sites to perform these hours. They are also provided with a timesheet to track their hours. Staff calls the work sites and verifies with site supervisors that the offender completed the amount of hours they report. Friendship staff then provides the court with written documentation of hours completed. This eliminates false reports to the court.
Compliance Monitoring/Community Supervision - in some jurisdictions that do not have probation services, or those sentenced that will not be supervised by DOC Friendship provides monitoring of Judgment and Sentence conditions. Documentation of evaluations, treatment recommendations, community service and legal financial obligations are monitored and reported directly to the Court. In the event of non compliance, written notification is provided in a timely manner to any involved party. Once per month in person meetings with the case manager is required until all requirements are completed
Electronic Home Monitoring and Alcohol Monitoring - Electronic Monitoring is provided by Friendship Diversion Services for individuals who are court ordered to serve time or monitored pre-trial on electronic detention. We use a GPS tracking device that runs on cell signal, tracking an offender movement in real time. The software allows "zones" to be created that will monitor an offender remaining at home (inclusion zone) or away from a victim's residence (exclusion zone). We also establish approved zones away from the home for work, treatment, verified medical and other necessary appointments, however, Friendship does not allow any leaves from the residence unless they are authorized in a Home Detention Order signed by the Judge. Offenders are required to remain free from illegal substance use while on EHM programs.
Staff reports violations to the court, prosecuting authority and defense counsel for review and action.
Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) monitoring is a device that detects alcohol consumption through impermeable perspiration through one's body. Offenders that are court ordered to wear this device are tested every 30 minutes 24 hours per day for alcohol consumption. SCRAM is often ordered in pre-trial matters and is not considered "home detention".
Staff reports any violations of these programs to the court, prosecuting authority and defense counsel for review and action.
Theft Awareness Workshop-a workshop designed for those charge or accused of shoplifting of theft offenses. This workshop examines and discusses why people shoplift/steal, looks at the monetary impact theft has on the community; teaches about the potential consequences of further theft offenses; and encourages building decision making skills that encourage more responsible choices.
*due to the pandemic restrictions, at this time, non-mandatory in person meetings are held via phone or online.
Statistical Annual Reports for 2020:
Active cases statewide as of 1/25/2021 - 732
Community Service Hours Performed in 2020: 8,293 ¾
Victim Restitution Restored since tracking began to year end 2020: $3,002,791.92