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CLEAN SLATE NEWS: Two Dismissals Announced After Successful Completion of RECLAMATION Felony Youth Diversion Program


OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
P. DAVID SOARES
6 LODGE STREET
ALBANY, NEW YORK 12207
(518) 487-5460
(518) 487-5093 FAX


CONTACT: CECILIA WALSH (518) 275-4710 or
[email protected] 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 10, 2020


Two Dismissals Announced After Successful Completion of RECLAMATION Felony Youth Diversion Program



ALBANY, NY – District Attorney P. David Soares today announced that formal dismissal proceedings have taken place for two individuals who have successfully completed the Office of the Albany County District Attorney’s Felony Youth Diversion Program. Both cases were heard before the Honorable Judge Andra Ackerman in Albany County Court this week..

The Albany County District Attorney’s RECLAMATION Felony Youth Diversion Program seeks to engage the entire community in redirecting youth away from the criminal justice system.  Candidates are screened through a structured Diversion Board process.  Once accepted, eligible participants aged 18 to 24 charged with certain felonies are offered the opportunity to take accountability for criminal wrongdoing, repair harm to any victimized party, and become contributing members of community – all without the stigma of a felony criminal conviction or time served in custody. 

“When real reform is put into place, it has a transformative impact on the lives of those involved in the criminal justice system. Over the past three years since our Clean Slate efforts have begun, I have had the privilege of watching over twelve young people who were initially charged with felonies complete our Felony Youth Diversion Program and leave the Courthouse with a chance to start over - without a criminal record.  I am proud of the most recent two graduates and know their hard work will be an inspiration to others currently participating in the program,” commented DA David Soares.   

On September 8, 2020, a participant appeared in Albany County Court before the Honorable Andra Ackerman where her charges were ultimately dismissed in the interest of justice after successful completion of her FYDP Board reparative agreement.  On December 9, 2017, when she was 22, this participant was charged with a D Felony Robbery charge after a shoplifting incident and a physical altercation with a loss prevention officer in a department store in the Town of Colonie.  After reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident, and assessing the age and lack of any criminal history of this person, it was determined that this charged party would be a good candidate for restorative justice diversion. The participant met with our board, signed a reparative agreement, and has spent the last several years in successful compliance.  Based on her efforts, she formally graduated from our program at the last monthly Reclamation FYDP meeting, surrounded by her mentors, family, and board members who supported her along her journey. Based on her efforts, her charges were ultimately dismissed in Court. 

Today, an additional participant appeared in Albany County Court before the Honorable Andra Ackerman and her charges were ultimately dismissed after successful compliance with the program.  On August 8, 2019, when she was 23, this participant was charged with D Felony Grand Larceny and Possession of a Forged Instrument charges after an investigation uncovered her role in an alleged check fraud scheme in the Town of Colonie.  After reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident, it was determined that this charged party would be a good candidate for restorative justice diversion.  The participant met with our board, signed a reparative agreement, and has been in successful compliance.  Based on her efforts, she formally graduated from our program at the last monthly Reclamation FYDP meeting and her charges were ultimately dismissed today in Court. 


 

Community Justice and Outreach Manager David Graham speaking at monthly FYDP Board Meeting


The Reclamation Felony Youth Diversion Board is comprised of members of the community from all walks of life.  The members include attorneys, teachers, community leaders, youth program directors, crime victim advocates, and local citizens dedicating their time and efforts to improving the lives of young adults by being active participants in the restorative justice model.  In addition to our Felony program, our office also hosts a Community Accountability Board that has been active since 2005 in our Outreach Office on Clinton Avenue and has diverted thousands of misdemeanor cases out of the system.

Anyone with interest in joining our Restorative Justice efforts or questions about our successful diversion programs can visit our website:


For more information please contact Cecilia Walsh (518) 275-4710 or [email protected]

Previous Coverage of our program:

 



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