An examination of recidivism outcomes for a novel prosecutor-led gun diversion program

Matthew W. Epperson, Rachel C. Garthe, Hannah Lee, Angela Hawken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To examine the effects of a novel prosecutor-led gun diversion program (PLGDP) on criminal recidivism outcomes, with a focus on charges that impact public safety. Methods: We employed a quasi-experimental design comparing 76 participants from a PLGDP in Minneapolis, MN with 93 individuals from a comparison group. Participants joined the program between 2017 and 2019, and logistic regression analyses focused on the two-year period following the illegal gun possession offense. Outcomes included arrest and conviction for any criminal offense and offenses involving a weapon or violence. Results: PLGDP participants as a whole demonstrated lower odds of a conviction in the two-year follow period compared to individuals in the comparison group. Program graduates had significantly lower odds of a violent or weapons-related offense compared to those in the comparison group, while terminated program participants demonstrated higher odds of charges and convictions. Conclusions: Findings demonstrate that a PLGDP can address the racially disparate punishment of illegal gun possession and can be implemented without detrimental effects on public safety. PLGDPs represent a promising new component to broader gun violence prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102196
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
StatePublished - May 1 2024


  • Community violence intervention
  • Diversion
  • Gun violence
  • Prosecutors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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