Federal court programs aim to keep defendants out of prison

Oct 17, 2015 2:28 PM by News Staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Federal defendants charged with relatively minor crimes are getting a chance to avoid prison under new pre-trial rehabilitation programs that have been implemented across the country.

About a dozen federal district courts have so-called pre-trial diversion programs - most launched within the past five years. The federal court system in California has programs in San Diego and Los Angeles and is getting ready to launch another in San Francisco.

Many of the programs function like state drug courts, where defendants with substance abuse problems receive treatment and counseling. Still others focus on young defendants with no requirement that they have drug addictions. The goal is to help people overcome obstacles that contributed to their crimes and save money by keeping them out of prison.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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