LA district attorney Gascón’s new ‘diversion’ program to let youth avoid court called ‘slap on the wrist’

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Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced a new program that will be even more lenient on juvenile criminals which his opponents fear will likely contribute to a rise in crime.

The “Restorative Enhanced Diversion for Youth Pathway” will allow many felonies committed by 16 and 17-year-olds to be put into a rehabilitation program instead of charged with the serious crime they committed.

The controversial program will allow burglary, assaults without firearms or extensive injuries, vehicle theft, robbery, grand theft person, sexual battery and arson as crimes eligible for “diversion.”

(Video Credit: Fox11)

Gascón announced the new policy last week, calling on critics to support it, “Rather than turning every tragedy into a political football and end game, I ask those people, please join us, we can do better, go further if we all work together.”

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami is critical of his boss’ new program because he says it sends the message that “we’re going to give you a slap on the wrist.”

“Diversion means that we’re not charging anybody. So, if we’re not charging anybody, they don’t go through the court system. So you cant give them any sort of programs that are monitored through the court,” he explained.

Some people jumped right on board the progressive crazy train in support of the new program, citing that other states had similar programs.

But others dug a little deeper to recognize that perhaps the programs are not equivalent to those in other states and many others outright blamed programs like this for the rampant rise in crime in the southern California county since Gascón was elected.

Hatami predicts that gangs will work the lax prosecution policies to their advantage to coax younger recruits to commit the crimes, ultimately causing an increase in crime.

“I think it endangers the juveniles because you have older gang members and what they’re doing is telling 16 and 17-year-olds, ‘Hey, you can commit these crimes and you’re not really going to get in trouble,'” he said.

Hatami may have a point.

In March, a convicted killer toasted with prison moonshine to a resentencing directive Gascón issued calling for inmates who had served at least 15 years to potentially be resentenced.

“Right here with my cellie,” inmate Phillip Dorsett said in the clip taken on a contraband cell phone and released by the California District Attorneys Association. “Some white lightning, a little cup, boom! Celebrating us going home on this Gascón directive. Whoop!”


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