In Victoria, diversion has historically operated through the pre-court Victoria Police cautioning program. There are a number of eligibility criteria for police to consider when deciding whether a caution is appropriate. Cautions are most often issued to first-time offenders; however, police may issue more than one caution to an individual. The young person in question must admit guilt and there must be sufficient Material presented to a court to prove or disprove a fact. It can include what witnesses say as well as documents and other objects. to prove guilt before police may issue a caution.
The Ropes Program was developed in 2002 to provide a diversion option for young people appearing in the Children’s An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. for the first time.
Other eligibility requirements include:
- the A criminal act prohibited by state or commonwealth criminal law. An offence is either a summary offence (minor) or an indictable offence (serious). must be within the Children’s Court The authority of a court or tribunal to hear matters brought before it, based on some factor such as area or law, amount of money claimed, or geographic area.;
- the young person must be between 12–18 years;
- the young person must admit to committing the offence;
- the young person must not previously have participated in the Ropes Program;
- the police A person who swears an affidavit stating that an offence has occurred and is named on the documents that start a criminal case in court. The informant is usually a police officer, but can also be the victim of the crime. Not to be confused with an informer. must recommend the young person for the program;
- the young person and their parent or Someone who is legally responsible for taking care of another person or their property. must To agree to something being done, to approve an action or arrangement. See also informed consent. to participation; and
- the presiding judicial officer must authorise participation in the program.
The program involves completion of a set of physical tasks (low and high ropes) and discussion sessions. It seeks to improve relations between young people and the police.
If the course is successfully completed, the young person is not required to appear at court on the next court date and the charges are struck out. This means the young person A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. not have a criminal record.
Youth Diversion Program
The Youth Diversion Program is a state-wide, court-referred, community based diversion program for young offenders who acknowledge their offence and have little or no history of offending. Offenders who successfully complete the program do not have a finding of guilt listed on their record. Diversion can only be ordered by the court if the The party presenting evidence in court on behalf of the state or Commonwealth government against a person accused of committing a crime. Also called the Crown. consents. For more information, see https://www.childrenscourt.vic.gov.au/criminal-division/youth-diversion-service.