Young Adult Diversion Project


Young adults (ages 16-24) are involved with the criminal justice system in disproportionate numbers compared to other age groups. A growing body of research shows that this population is closer developmentally to teenagers than to older adults and, therefore, it is more effective to address their criminal behavior with age-appropriate treatments, including diversion programs. Diversion programs redirect individuals, typically youth and first-time offenders, from prosecution and/or incarceration to community-based programming, case management, and supports.


In 2017, the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, funded a 3-year technical assistance initiative that is helping 16 state and local partnerships provide their justice-involved young adult population with alternatives to prosecution and/or incarceration, including special education, career and technical education, and other workforce development opportunities.

Technical Assistance Partnerships:

  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Alameda County, California
  • Los Angeles County, California
  • Orange County, California
  • Florida
  • Kentucky
  • Hampden County, Massachusetts
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Camden, New Jersey
  • Ocean County, New Jersey
  • New York
  • Portland, Oregon
  • City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Utah

An online toolkit is being developed and will be housed on the Perkins Collaborative Resource Network at:


Fact Sheet | Print Version


Sean Addie

Sherene Donaldson

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