A newly announced diversion program by the Columbus City Attorney's office is designed to break the cycle of repeat offenders by looking at the causes of their crimes.
City Attorney Zach Klein says for the vast majority of individuals, it's the fact that they fall on hard financial times. Eligible defendants will be connected to the Central Ohio Pathways Hub. Caseworkers will screen them with a survey to determine the root causes of their crime. Based on their situation and needs, they will be connected to health and social services. Those who successfully complete the 6 month program will have their cases dropped. For now, the pilot program only applies to theft and shoplifting from big box stores.