Items for Consideration

It is important to conduct due diligence with considering a diversion program provider. There are a few important facts that don’t otherwise come up in the standard discussion. Some of them can be critical, especially if they concern legal questions, costs or your reputation.

Take a moment to review this information:

The How and Why of No-Cost Services

Never pay for diversion services.

If your office or court is paying anything for diversion services, it’s paying too much. BounceBack Bracket provides full administrative services for all types of diversion programs at no cost to the prosecutor, judge or ordinary taxpayer. The offenders who require the program pay its cost.

That has been the standard since BounceBack Bracket began business, but not all vendors work that way. A surprising number of vendors still require a jurisdiction to fund or partially fund its diversion programs. If that it the case for your office or court, consider getting better service at no cost.

Don’t sacrifice effectiveness.

How can you get better service when you pay nothing? Because, BounceBack Bracket has the most advanced systems and service procedures, honed over 20+ years. We combine those “mechanical” advantages with our personal, one-to-one interactions. Bracket works within the boundaries of offender funding. That means enhanced effectiveness for your programs – without a cost burden.

Don’t make offender overpay for their programs.

Diversion or probation programs that are financially out of reach for offenders don’t work well for anyone. BounceBack Bracket administered programs typically require lower fees than local providers, lower fees than all providers.

For genuinely impoverished offenders, BounceBack Bracket can fund an indigent fee component that your office or court controls. Structure your program fees to work for everyone.

A Program by Any Other Name…

… Works as Well

Diversion, probation, suspended imposition of sentence, RAD, pre-trial, pre-filing, deferred prosecution, alternative sentencing, monitored, supervised… they are all variations on the same basic idea – offenders satisfying a set of conditions over a period of time.

Rather than being unnecessarily repetitive in our website, we use a few terms such as diversion, probation or sentencing alternative to represent a broader group for each type of program. Just understand that we are including all forms of those major groups. If you have a question about whether Bracket can administer a particular program, the answer is “Yes.”

Legal Issues

Don’t Become a Defendant

Prosecutors and judges deal with enough ordinary problems every day, they don’t need to be dragged into legal entanglements. There are issues that every office or court should be aware of as they make a decision about diversion programs.

Below are the basic facts and some links that allow you to examine the matter in detail. We encourage you to examine the issue closely, before it becomes a problem in your office or court.

Companies that provide diversion services have come under fire for alleged violations – For several years, three companies dominated in providing diversion services for prosecutors’ offices. All three companies were the targets of class action lawsuits and the suits of course included or cited several selected prosecutors’ offices.

The allegations, in the simplest form, stated that these private companies were collection agencies illegally using the threat of prosecution or “…the power of the prosecutor’s office” to collect debt. There are other associated arguments but the fundamental assertion was that prosecutors turned over their prosecutorial responsibility to a private company so the company could make a profit by collecting debt and charging the offender extra fees. (To be fair, we are generalizing and this is, of course, our interpretation. We are only representing the information as such. You should read the court documents and related information to make your own determination.)

BounceBack and the two other companies were forced to defend their business practices in providing administrative services to prosecutors. Here is how it turned out… so far.

  • One company was forced into bankruptcy and went out of business.
  • One company was forced into bankruptcy, reorganized itself and reopened under another name. That new version of that company was promptly sued again. That most recent suit is still ongoing in the United States District Court, Northern District of California.
  • BounceBack won its suits (with prejudice in each instance) and continues to do business the same way it has from the beginning.

BounceBack has won every class action suit brought against it – BounceBack is the only company in its industry that can say that. BounceBack confronted the charges head on and in both instances, won on summary judgment. The other companies either lost in court or continue to be involved in ongoing legal action.

It matters… in a couple of ways.

The most direct consequence could be that your office or court is suddenly left with hundreds or thousands of cases in process with no good way to handle them. That is exactly what happened in 2006. District Attorneys Technical Services (DATS) went out of business almost literally overnight. DAT’s client prosecutors were plunged into a crisis of how to handle the huge number of diversion cases that were in all stages of completion. It is fair to say that there was a lot scrambling to find alternate means for handling the cases.

The second consequence revolves around a prosecutor’s or judge’s reputation.

You may or may not be aware of the bad press that has recently focused on the practice of prosecutors outsourcing the administration of their bad check diversion program to private companies. The arguments in the articles mirror those in the lawsuits and the articles seem to focus primarily on the company that conducted a bankruptcy, reorganization and continuation of business. Unfortunately, the articles paint BounceBack and prosecutors with the same brush of alleged impropriety. It causes problems for all offices, not just those associated with the company that makes up the bulk of the articles.

As a result of the articles, state agencies have begun to question prosecutors about their diversion programs. Public opinion of the criminal justice system is being degraded. Prosecutors’ bad check diversion programs have come under scrutiny in various states. Prosecutors have had to spend time and resources defending themselves. The articles continue to cast doubt on the criminal justice system and cause problems, the loss of time and unnecessary expenditure of resources for prosecutors across the country.

Nobody can predict if another next lawsuit might pop up. With no resolution in the ongoing California case, there is an increased chance that all other prosecutors’ program will again come under scrutiny. What other companies do is up to them but it might be comforting to know that BounceBack’s track record keeps getting stronger and BounceBack doesn’t stray from its proven business practices.