Diversion & Rehabilitation

Diversion and rehabilitation programs divert nonviolent offenders from overburdened courts and overcrowded corrections institutions to resources that will assist them to become more productive functioning members of society.  The idea behind diversion is to change one’s behavior, but not leave a person with a permanent record that could result in adverse individual collateral consequences in the future.

Participation in a diversion or rehabilitation program is completely voluntary and it is up to the defendant to demonstrate his or her willingness to abide by the conditions.

Deferred Disposition

A defendant may be offered a deferred disposition during plea negotiations. A deferred disposition is a contract between the District Attorney and the defendant which is approved by the court.

The defendant enters a plea of guilty to charges in court and agrees to adhere to and meet certain conditions during the contract period.

Deferment Guidelines
Defendants are required to contact the Diversion and Rehabilitation Program staff in the District Attorney's Office in person or via phone or email within 7 days of signing their deferment. This initial conversation will outline the expectations for the period of deferment as well as the expected reporting requirements.

The coordinator will monitor the defendant's adherence to the contract throughout the deferment period and file paperwork with the court accordingly and/or involve law enforcement when necessary. 

Successful Deferment
If the defendant is successful in adhering to the deferment terms, then the defendant will return to court and receive the agreed upon reduced sentence or straight dismissal of the alleged charges or a combination of both. 

Restorative Justice
The Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office is working with the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine in order to collaborate in areas of criminal justice in order to maximize restorative justice for victims, public safety, and defendants. Diversionary tactics will often utilize the resources of the restorative justice in order to change the behavior of a defendant and minimize recidivism. Even though the District Attorney’s primary goal is victim representation and public safety, we see an opportunity to use restorative justice to achieve the ends of changing behavior, reducing recidivism, and benefiting victims and the community.

Contact Us

Katherine Ellis
Diversion & Rehabilitation Program Clerk

Cumberland County District Attorney's Office
142 Federal St.
Portland, ME 04101
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Ph: 207-871-8384
Fx: 207-775-3561