Events

All events

Another CLEAN SLATE Success: Graduation and Dismissal Announced



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: OCTOBER 20, 2020


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

ALBANY, NY – District Attorney P. David Soares today announced that a formal dismissal proceeding took place before the Honorable Judge Andra Ackerman in Albany County Court for a 19 year old individual who has successfully completed the Office of the Albany County District Attorney’s Felony Youth Diversion Program.

The Albany County District Attorney’s CLEAN SLATE 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 thirteen 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 graduate and know her hard work will be an inspiration to others currently participating in the program,” commented DA David Soares.  

On October 30, 2020, a 19 year old 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 January 25, 2019, when she was 18, this participant was charged with a Felony Grand Larceny charge after stealing money from 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 successfully complied with all conditions of the program. Based on her efforts, she formally graduated from our program this week at our Reclamation FYDP meeting, surrounded by her mentors and board members who supported her along her journey. Based on her efforts, her charges were ultimately dismissed in Court today.


  

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:

 

###