Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Sid Hellyer

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Second Advisor

Frederick Binding

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Third Advisor

Mary Kay Lane

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member


The research describes the operation of the Kitchener-Waterloo Diversion Program and by using the Gibbon, Lebowitz and Blake (1976) evaluation model the program was evaluated relative to its six objectives. Diversion is defined as any pre-trial, post-charge intervention model which deals with juvenile charges outside the traditional juvenile justice systems (Solicitor General of Canada, 1978).

Data were collected from systematic observations of the diversion meetings, interviews with participants, victims and lawyers regarding their perceptions of diversion, and the examination of police, court and diversion records.

Results indicate that the eligibility criteria were being met and that the intended target population was being served. Diversion is recognized and accepted by the court, police and community as an alternative to juvenile court. The diversion meetings were informal and they were focussed on the act for which the charge was laid. The program adopted an intervention approach and “treatment” was often ordered as a term of diversion. Intervention to promote reconciliation, settlement or compromise has been going on for all cases and by allowing the youths to be actively involved in the negotiation of the diversion agreements, offenders view the terms as just and equitable. The provision of diversion has reduced the number of juveniles appearing in court. The community, especially the victims, have played a minimal role and appear to have little knowledge of the diversion program. Two unanticipated consequences were also investigated. Lawyers viewed diversion as more attractive than juvenile court in that there was more flexibility and available time with their clients. The introduction of diversion has not increased the number of charges laid by the police.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons