DA in Philadelphia Seth Williams Announces Prison Alternative Program

DA in Philadelphia Seth Williams Announces Prison Alternative Program

District Attorney Seth Williams announced this week the creation of a new unit that would move non-violent offenders into programs designed to address their issues and keeping themselves out of the prisons.

The new Diversionary Courts Unit will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Derek Riker, who has been officially named Chief of Diversion Courts. The new position became effective on November 19. Williams said the new unit is a part of his office’s continuing effort to make the city safe while being smart on crime.

“This is a part of my continuing goal of focusing our resources on violent offenders,” Williams said. “By diverting more non-violent offenders into programs that will address their needs, these individuals are less likely to become repeat offenders. This is what ‘Smart on Crime’ means, and I am very pleased that Derek Riker will help the office with our ongoing efforts to make the public safer.”

By Larry Miller of the Philadelphia Tribune

The Diversionary Courts Unit is essentially an alternative to prosecution, which is part of the district attorney’s strategy of being smart on crime. Alternatives to prosecution or prison are becoming an increasing aspect of criminal justice across the nation, as state government seek ways to reduce the costs of incarcerating offenders. The overall goal is to reach individuals who are still low-risk offenders and turn them around before they become career criminals.

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Source: Politic365

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