A person might become involved in a crime for several reasons. They might be testing their limits, dream of a way to quickly get money and power, or make a mistake. For some people, their actions are motivated by underlying issues such as addiction. If this is the case, you might be able to set up a diversionary plan with the court. You can learn more about diversionary plans and community court here.
The court offers several “diversionary plans.” These plans use a combination of court supervised community and social services to address the defendant’s underlying issues. Social issues or addictive behavior could lead to their crime. But, diversionary plans still will hold the defendant responsible for their actions.
The Connecticut judicial branch operates two Community Court Sessions in Hartford and Waterbury. Also, the community courts deal with a wide array of crimes including simple possession of marijuana, breach of peace, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, larceny (shoplifting), disorderly conduct, threatening, prostitution, solicitation of prostitutes, illegal liquor possession by a minor, public nuisance, public drunkenness, excessive noise, and illegal vending.
Most defendants must perform community service in lieu of being subject to criminal sentencing. For example, defendants may work on a street clean-up crew or help deliver food to the needy. Upon completion of the community service, their cases are typically dismissed or nolled.
The court also requires all defendants to meet with a member of the Community Court Social Services Team. The social services staff at both community court locations consists of representatives from each city’s social service agency and the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). Also, the court monitors and sanctions defendants mandated for treatment by the social services team.
SECTION CITED FROM: A Guide to Special Sessions & Diversionary Programs in Connecticut, Superior Court Division, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (2006) (pp. 4-5). JPD-CR-137 Rev. 7/06
If you would like to explore the community court option, you can contact an attorney. With a lawyer, you can discuss all of your options and find the best one for you.