Robert Harvey, Calvert County State’s Attorney, announces the creation of a Court Diversion Program for Young Adults. The Program will permit young, first-time offenders the opportunity to avoid a criminal record if they successfully complete a 6-week course of counseling and education through the Calvert County Health Department – Behavioral Health. The Program is open to individuals aged 18-25, with no prior adult criminal record, who are charged with relatively minor offenses in the District Court. Persons charged with violent offenses, DUI, firearms violations, and domestic-related offenses are not eligible.
The curriculum will consist of six two-hour sessions designed to prevent future violations of the law. It will cover such topics as behavior modification, drug abuse, decision-making strategies, and anger management. There is a $175 fee which may be adjusted upon the participant’s economic circumstances.
Candidates for the Program will be identified by the State’s Attorney’s Office and referred to Calvert County Behavioral Health for an evaluation. Candidates who are accepted into the Program will have their charges placed on the inactive docket. Upon successful completion of the Program, participants will be able to have the charges dismissed and records expunged. Candidates who do not complete the Program will have their charges reinstated for prosecution. The Program is strictly voluntary.
State’s Attorney Harvey noted that “Young people do not always understand the impact that even a minor conviction can have on future educational and employment opportunities. This program will offer them a one-time chance to move on with life without the burden of a criminal record.”