Kane County has announced that they have established the first domestic violence treatment program in the state which makes it possible for defendants to avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction for a domestic battery. The program is called the Domestic Violence Diversion Program. To get into the program, the Kane County State's Attorney's Office will screen first time offenders, require that the offender pled guilty, and if they finish a prescribed course of treatment over a year, the charges will be eventually dismissed. This will allow people to expunge the case and the arrest from their records, as if it never happened. The program has a $450 fee plus a $200 donation to a domestic violence shelter. About 1,600 people a year are charged with domestic battery in Kane County. Officials estimate that roughly 150 to 180 people a year would be eligible to enter this program. The program is designed for first time offenders and not for long time abusers.
We will keep an eye on how this program performs with the hopes that other counties will copy this and try similar approaches to dealing with Domestic Battery cases.
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