Diverting young people from prosecution: toolkit

Guidance for service providers on providing effective, tailored and appropriate interventions for young people who offend.

2. Principles

What are the Key Principles on which this Toolkit is based?

Intervention with young people who offend should be:

  • Proportionate
    Diversion should only be used where the offence is sufficiently serious to merit prosecution.
  • Prompt
    Decisions should be made within a specified timeframe with account taken of the impact of any delay on the young person's willingness to engage.
  • Based on reliable information
    If possible information should be obtained from all the key agencies working with the young person and their families.
  • Family focused
    Where possible the young person's family should be involved in efforts to divert the young person towards more positive life styles and away from offending.
  • Fair
    The selection of young people for diversion should focus on their particular needs. Assumptions about their suitability for diversion should not be made solely because of generic characteristics such as gender or disability.
  • Monitored
    Feedback information should be provided on the young person's response to diversion. Diversion programmes should be evaluated regularly and the results made available to Community Justice Authorities and Criminal Justice Boards.


Email: youth.justice@gov.scot

Telephone: 0131 244 5443

Care and Justice Division
Scottish Government
Area 2-B North
Victoria Quay

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