Alternative Courts

Introductory Paragraph (1pt) – Clearly identify the issue and set up the reader to understand your recommendation.

Factors in Favor of Diversion (2 pts) – 2 paragraphs assessing why the defendant should be diverted to an alternative court (drug, mental health, or both).

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Factors Against Diversion (2 pts) – 2 paragraphs assessing why the defendant should not be diverted to the alternative court (drug, mental health, or neither).

Recommendation (3 pts) – 3-4 paragraphs making a strong recommendation in favor or against diversion into an alternative court as well as accountability steps that can be built into the program.

2 pts will be awarded for spelling, grammar and style.

There is no right or wrong answer. You are asked to make a professional assessment as a social worker.



Defendant A


Felony theft by embezzlement (Class 2 felony, >$10k but <$100k)
Unlawful possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (oxycodone)
Gender: M

Age: 66

Marital & Family Status: Married, two children (adult), three grandchildren

Home Status: House (homeowner)

Employment: Unemployed / former Fiscal Officer

Veteran Status: Veteran (U.S. Navy, 10 years, honorable discharge)

Substance Abuse History:

Defendant A started using opioids following a back surgery four years ago. Defendant A describes himself as an “occasional” user of oxycodone primarily to address recurrent back pain, though he does not have a prescription. While defendant has no previous criminal history related to his use of oxycodone, he was arrested with six pills on his person without a prescription.

Mental Health History:

Defendant A describes himself as a “frequent” gambler, primarily through slots, video poker, and lottery tickets. While Defendant denies utilizing misappropriated company funds to support his gambling habit, he estimates spending $5,000-$10,000 per month in support of his gambling habit.

Criminal History:

DWI, misdemeanor, 1987

Defendant was the Chief Financial Officer of a local chain of hardware stores. He is accused of diverting nearly $90,000 in company funds for personal use. Defendant has been terminated from his position as CFO and given the nature of his arrest, it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to work in financial services again. It appears that all diverted funds have been spent.

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