The Albany County District Attorney’s RECLAMATION Felony Youth Diversion Program seeks to engage the entire community in redirecting youth away from the criminal justice system. Candidates are screened through a structured Diversion Board process. Once accepted, eligible participants aged 16 to 24 charged with certain felonies are offered the opportunity to take accountability for criminal wrongdoing, repair harm to any victimized party, and become contributing members of community – all without the stigma of a felony criminal conviction or time served in State Prison.
Employing a restorative justice model, this felony diversion program begins after a thorough screening of the case after a felony arrest. Cases that fit criteria for the program will be flagged for evaluation by a "Diversion Board." This board is comprised of community leaders who represent many disciplines, including education, criminal justice, housing, and youth development programming. Accepted participants enter in to an agreement to abide by many conditions throughout the process. Depending on the case factors, a defendant could be referred to a felony level Community Accountability Board, among other court diversion options.
As a restorative justice model, input of the victim is paramount to the process. A main goal of the program is to have the offender address the harm caused to the victim, society, and his or herself. Those who successfully complete the program can avoid the life-altering consequences of a felony conviction when the District Attorney consents to the dismissal of the felony charge in the interest of justice. The legal effect of such a dismissal will be the complete sealing of the subject’s record of arrest and prosecution.
Q: Who is eligible to participate?
Q: What kinds of felonies can be considered?
Q: What about Robbery and Burglary felony charges? Aren't they classified as "violent" under NYS Penal Law?
Q: What other types of crimes are exempt from the "Reclamation" diversion process?
Q: What about misdemeanor crimes? Is there a diversion process for lower level crimes?
Q: What about "Raise the Age" Legislation? Doesn't that already address offenders aged 16 to 17?
Q: What if I have more questions?
A: Offenders aged 16 to 24 charged with certain non-violent felony level offenses.
A: On a case by case evaluation basis, certain non-violent felonies can be considered, such as: Grand Larceny, Drug Crimes, and property crimes.
A: Some Robbery and Burglary cases can be considered, after a thorough evaluation of the alleged case facts. Exempt cases would include serious physical injury to the victim, the use or display of a firearm or dangerous instrument, or cases where the victim does not consent to the diversion process.
A: Domestic Violence offenses; crimes where victims are children, elderly, disabled, or pets; and DWI related offenses will not be considered.
A: Yes, at the lower court level our office already employs a misdemeanor level "Community Accountability Board" (CAB) model, which has existed for many years. Learn more about the existing CAB model here.
A: Many components of "Raise the Age" will not take effect until October 2018. The Clean Slate diversion model has been accepting participants age 16 to 24 since January 2016, and will continue to focus on young adults 18 to 24 after RTA goes in to effect.
A: Charged individuals should contact defense counsel. Victims should contact the DA's Office Crime Victims Unit at (518) 694-8445. Other inquiries please fill out contact form with details about your request: