The Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD) coordinated the Misdemeanor Diversion Program (MDP) for youths aged 16 and 17 with no criminal record. Modeled on a successful pilot project in Durham County, the Orange County MDP diverted the first-time arrests of 16 and 17-year olds with eligible misdemeanor offenses.
MDP ended on November 30, 2019 when North Carolina’s Raise the Age legislation took effect on December 1, 2019. The Orange County Pre-Arrest Diversion (OC-PAD) now serves those 18 and older in pre-arrest diversion, and the Youth Deflection Program (YDP) serves those 17 and under.
Rather than face arrest and prosecution in adult criminal court, these young individuals were referred to the CJRD, where they were placed on a 90-day diversion plan that focused on addressing individual therapeutic needs and/or required the completion of community service hours. Upon successful compliance, no charges were filed and these young individuals did not have an arrest entered in the criminal justice system.
The Orange County MDP was launched in April 2016 with the support of all Orange County criminal justice system stakeholders and law enforcement agencies.