This section presents data on cases granted diversion or deferred judgment. Diversion and deferred judgments are alternatives to traditional prosecution that attempt to address individuals’ needs. If programmatic requirements are met, the case will be dismissed.
Why is this important? Understanding what cases are diverted or deferred and the rate of successful program completion provides information on whether the alternative minimizes unnecessary punitiveness and maintains community safety.
The reclassification of some felony charges to misdemeanors has impacted the number of deferred judgment and sentence agreements for adult offenders. If an offender was originally charged with a recently reclassified felony and their criminal history, among other factors, was minimal to non-existent, a deferred judgment and sentence would be extended to allow the offender the opportunity to avoid a felony conviction.
Some examples of charges that were recently reclassified are possession of a controlled substance, trespass of an automobile, trespass of a dwelling, criminal impersonation, 2nd degree burglary of a retail establishment, 3rd degree burglary, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of burglary tools, some aggravated motor vehicle thefts, some false information to pawn brokers, some identity thefts, some arsons, and escape from community corrections.
Deferred judgment and sentences continue to be used regularly in juvenile court, but they are called deferred adjudications for juvenile offenders.
Below are a set of indicators that provide additional context about diversion and deferrals. These indicators help the DA's Office ensure they are providing alternatives to traditional prosecution effectively and fairly.
Deferred judgements should be limited to cases where a defendant has a limited prior criminal history, takes accountability, the facts and circumstances indicate they do not pose a significant community safety risk, and when specific issues can be addressed through therapeutic or rehabilitative measures.
High success rates would indicate that prosecutors are appropriately identifying those individuals who can take advantage of and successfully fulfill the conditions of their deferral.
The data related to recidivism is limited. Recidivism is only derived from new case filings in judicial districts participating in the Colorado Prosecutorial Dashboards Project (the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 17th, 18th, 20th, and 21st). We do not have information on cases filed outside these jurisdictions nor do the measures reflect cases from Colorado municipal courts or cases from outside the state of Colorado.
- Underlying data counts for each chart can be accessed through this link.