Court Diversion

The Burlington Community Justice Center is thrilled to provide Court Diversion programming among our offerings. Court Diversion, the Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program (YSASP), and the Civil DLS Diversion Program are alternatives to the traditional justice system.

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.

A person referred to Diversion

  • chooses whether to participate or not – participation is voluntary,
  • admits responsibility for their actions,
  • meets with a board 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 they complete the program successfully.

Other key aspects of Diversion:

  • Victims’ views are heard and reflected in the contract developed by the restorative panel volunteers 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.


You can find a short video about Court Diversion here.


For Court Diversion-related questions and concerns, contact Barbara Shaw-Dorso at or 802-264-0765.

If you have already been a participant of Court Diversion please take a few moments to let us know how we are doing by filling out our survey.




The Guiding Principles of Court Diversion programs are based on Restorative Justice principles. Learn more about the Vermont Association of Court Diversion programs here.