MCDONOUGH, GA (April 3, 2017) – Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo is pleased to announce the launch of his Pretrial Diversion Program to help rehabilitate non-violent, first-time offenders. The launch comes on his 90th day in office and fulfills another campaign promise.
The Pretrial Diversion Program is an alternative to traditional prosecution and allows defendants with non-violent offenses the opportunity to have their charges dismissed by completing a series of corrective programs, such as counseling, community service, anger management, drug rehabilitation and other classes. During the program, offenders are supervised similar to probation, drug screened, and must stay out of trouble. Anyone who fails the program will have their case prosecuted in Henry County Superior Court.
“This is a rigorous program, but it gives youthful, non-violent offenders who are serious about making a change the opportunity for a second chance,” Pattillo said. “While we are aggressive at getting dangerous felons off the street, we also recognize that not everyone who is arrested falls in that category.”
The program is only for offenders without a criminal history and for less serious offenses, such as thefts, criminal damage to property and drug possession. Participants will be supervised by Pretrial Diversion Coordinator LaTisha Flint, who joined the District Attorney’s Office after working for the Georgia Department of Community Supervision for more than four years.
Since taking office on Jan. 3, Pattillo has launched a unit to specialize in crimes against women and children, hired an appellate attorney, reorganized the trial line to be more aggressive on violent crime and streamlined the grand jury process. In addition, Pattillo has increased outreach in schools to reduce juvenile crime.
“I have heard from many residents concerned about the number of youth incarcerated for non-violent, first-time offenses,” Pattillo said. “This program directly addresses that concern and provides education and resources to those in need, while still allowing us to aggressively prosecute violent offenders and career criminals. This is another way we are working to give back to our community and keep Henry County safe.”
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Megan L. Matteucci
Assistant District Attorney and Public Information Officer