Deferred Prosecution: An Evaluation of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Deferred Prosecution Program

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Deferred Prosecution: An Evaluation of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Deferred Prosecution Program

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office implemented its alternative sentencing-focused Deferred Prosecution Program in February 2011. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority awarded a grant to the Loyal University Chicago to evaluate the program in 2013.

The Deferred Prosecution Program offers certain first-time, non-violent felony offenders a chance to avoid a conviction upon successful completion of a 12-month program. Defendants charged with retail theft, burglary, theft, drug possession, credit card and ID fraud, and fraud are eligible for the program, but both the victim and the defendant have to agree to program participation.  The case is then assigned to a pre-trial services officer that monitors the participant’s progress over the next nine to 12 months. Upon successful completion of the program, the defendant’s felony change is dismissed and participants are given guidance on arrest record expungement.

The ICJIA found:

A success rate of almost 70 percent. Of the sample studied, 68.6 percent of participants saw their cases dismissed, indicating successful program completion, while 31.4 percent were terminated from the program. Variation was seen in the success rate across offense types. Participants charged with possession of a stolen vehicle had the highest failure rate, with 57 percent ultimately terminated from the program. Those charged with forgery had the lowest failure rate at 16 percent.

For more information and the full presentation check out:

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/articles/evaluation-of-the-deferred-prosecution-program