The mission of Vermont court diversion programs is to engage community members in responding to the needs of crime victims, the community, and those who violated the law, holding the latter accountable in a manner that promotes responsible behavior.

Court Diversion is a restorative alternative for individuals charged with a crime. After police issue a citation for violating the law, the state’s attorney decides whether to refer the person out of the court system to the community-based Court Diversion program.

To find out more about Orange County’s Court Diversion Program, contact Jessie Schmidt, Executive Director at 802-685-3172 or

A person referred to Diversion

  • chooses whether to participate or not – participation is voluntary,
  • admits responsibility for his/her actions,
  • meets with a panel of community volunteers and completes a contract designed to repair the harm done to the victim and the larger community, and address underlying factors in the individual’s life that contributed to the crime,
  • pays a fee, and
  • avoids a permanent criminal record if s/he completes the program successfully.

Other key aspects of Diversion:

  • Victims’ views are heard and reflected in the contract developed by the Diversion Panel and participant
  • Case managers support participants through the process to successful completion

If an individual does not complete the contract, the case is returned to the State’s Attorney for prosecution.

To learn more about the Court Diversion Process, watch this short video.  For detailed information, visit the Vermont Association of Court Diversion Programs.