Following two years of fully-virtual workshops, the City Attorney’s Office released a report highlighting the ongoing success of the Mainstream Pre-Filing Diversion Program (PFD) with their non-profit partner, CHOOSE 180. In 2021, the City Attorney’s Office diverted 84 fileable cases involving 79 young adult participants across twelve months of virtual one-on-one workshops. Additionally, since its inception in 2017, 90% of program participants have had no new criminal convictions.
“The mainstream pre-filing diversion program has proved to be a valuable – and highly effective – alternative to the traditional criminal legal process for many young people in Seattle. I applaud the incredible work done by the diversion program attorneys in my office, and the partnership that we have with CHOOSE 180 that is keeping young people out of jail and out of our criminal justice system,” said City Attorney Ann Davison. “As we work to rebuild our City’s accountability system, it is critical that we continue to offer a wide range of diversion programs to reach individuals and help disrupt the cycle of crime on our streets.”
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office in partnership with a community non-profit organization, CHOOSE 180, began offering a Pre-Filing Diversion opportunity for 18-24-year-olds beginning in September of 2017. Pre-Filing Diversion offers young people the opportunity to participate in a 4-hour CHOOSE 180 Young Adult Workshop instead of being processed through the traditional criminal legal system. Those participants who complete the Workshop will not have criminal charges filed.
“We are grateful for the young adults who continue to commit to CHOOSE 180 and our relationship with the city attorney’s office that allows for this transformative work to flourish,” said Sean Goode, Executive Director of CHOOSE 180.
Since program inception in late 2017 through December 2021, CHOOSE 180 hosted nineteen in-person young adult diversion Workshops and twenty-two months of virtual one-on-one Workshops. The City Attorney’s Office has referred 1,225 young adults on 1,458 reports to diversion. Of the 1,225 young people invited to participate in diversion, 526 young people completed the program, and 565 reports were diverted.