This program began in 2010 with collaboration among the Kane County State's Attorney's Office, victims' rights groups, Community Crisis Center of Elgin, Mutual Ground of Aurora and criminal defense attorneys. This program is the first domestic violence diversion program in Illinois. Designed to hold first-time domestic violence offenders accountable and provide tools, such as counseling, necessary to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders. Some participants learn to improve their home and family situation, and their victims won't have to risk choosing between their family or their safety. Successful completion will prevent a permanent conviction from being placed on the offender's record.
Application processThe state's attorney may make an application offer shortly after charges are filed. Once the offer is made, the offender must contact the state's attorney's office to arrange for an interview. During the interview, the case manager explains the process, and the offender pays a $25 application fee. If accepted, the offender agrees to plead guilty to the charges at the next court date. If the offender is denied into the program, there is no appeal of the decision.
An applicant is ineligible if:
Program requirementsParticipation is one year. Fees and fines are $795, $100 of which goes to a domestic violence shelter. Offender must receive domestic violence or anger management counseling and might be required to receive other counseling and follow certain conditions. Bond conditions apply.
Completion or terminationUpon successful completion of all requirements, the plea will be vacated at the final court date and the case will be dismissed. If terms of the program are not followed, or if a new offense is committed, the offender will be terminated from the program, a conviction will be entered and the criminal case will proceed to sentencing.