Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis


Best Senior Thesis in Public Policy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Daniel Krauss

Reader 2

Dionne Bensonsmith

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The Washtenaw County (MI) Prosecutor’s Office’s Pre-Plea Diversion Program (PPDP) aims to divert eligible misdemeanor defendants from the criminal justice system, offering rehabilitative programming to reduce reoffending and minimize the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction with case dismissal. This research assessed whether PPDP participants were less likely to be re-arrested in the six months following program completion compared to a sample of defendants facing similar charges within the same court. It was hypothesized that the PPDP would effectively reduce re-arrest, with community service and mental health counseling proving particularly impactful. Employing a quasi-experimental design, data from 90 successfully diverted adults, 17 unsuccessfully diverted adults, and 97 comparable adults charged with diversion-eligible offenses were analyzed. Chi-square analysis and linear regression was utilized to compare re-arrest rates between the successfully diverted and quasi-control groups. Additionally, exploratory linear and binomial logistic regression analyses were performed which examined disparities in diversion program selection and success, as well as re-arrest likelihood among the quasi-control sample. Results revealed a significant reduction in re-arrest among PPDP participants, with younger individuals and those with less extensive criminal histories being more likely be selected for the program. However, no demographic or individual characteristics emerged as significant predictors of successful program completion. These findings underscore the potential for diversion programs to reduce recidivism and match participants with effective rehabilitative services, suggesting avenues for future research and broader diversion program implementation.