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Diversion programs provide an alternative to prosecution. These programs are offered in courthouses throughout Ontario. Each courthouse has different diversion programs, with different eligibility requirements. Some diversion programs are very formal and structured, such as Mental Health Diversion or Extra Judicial Sanctions offered in Youth Court. Other types of diversion can be very informal and may simply involve doing a small amount of community service or making a donation to a charity.
Despite their differences, what all diversion programs have in common is that they are an alternative to prosecution. The Crown recognizes that not all types of offences need to be dealt with through guilty pleas or trials, and that sometimes helping out in the community can make up for harm caused by an offence.
For example, you could be offered diversion in a case such as: