Diversion Program

Klickitat County Juvenile Department is a member of the Washington Association of Juvenile Diversion Units (WAJDU).

Why Diversion?

Juvenile Diversion serves the community by:
  • Compensating victims
  • Holding youth accountable
  • Relieving court congestion
  • Supporting families

What is Diversion?

Diversion is a different way of dealing with juveniles who are charged with an offense.  They are handled informally instead of going through the court process.  Typically, these cases involve youth ages 8 to 18 who are alleged to have committed offenses such as shoplifting and other thefts, possession of alcohol, minor assaults, malicious mischief and trespassing.

Each case is handled on an individual basis. Diversion Agreements hold youth accountable by:
  • Assigning community restitution, which benefits the youth's communities
  • Assisting families in finding needed services for their children
  • Providing informational/educational programs
  • Reimbursing victims for their losses

Differences Between Diversion and Juvenile Court


  • All proceeding are confidential
  • Case records are confidential
  • Court appearance may not be required
  • Costs usually consist of a relatively low diversion fee (when applicable)
  • Legal representation is not required

Juvenile Court

  • All hearings are open to the public
  • Court records are public information
  • Numerous Court appearances may be required
  • Court fees,/penalties are usually assigned
  • A public defender/private attorney may charge fees
  • Youth may be sentenced to community supervision/probation

Diversion Objectives

  • To hold the youth accountable for his or her offense(s)
  • To foster change in youth's attitudes/behaviors so that they conform to the law and community standards
  • To impress upon the youth that their community is concerned with his or her conduct
  • To increase the juvenile's awareness of the relationship between the offense committed and the people injured by the offense
  • Stimulate and maximize the opportunity for victim and citizen participation

Washington State Diversion Annual Statistics

  • 87,000 community service hours completed
  • 35,000 youth referred to diversion
  • More than $100,000 in restitution collected
  • More than $40,000 in fines collected
  • More than 25,000 hours of education/counseling completed