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Diversion and Desistance Branch

We are an area of the Edmonton Police Service developed under the Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) Bureau in January of 2020. The Diversion and Desistance (D+D) Branch focuses on identifying, selecting, and managing the offenders in Edmonton who are responsible for the most harm to communities and the most demand on EPS’ frontline officers.

Where we differ from traditional policing, is our management of these offenders; along with desistance strategies, we offer diversion supports to those who want our assistance in finding a new, positive path out of the offender lifestyle. This includes collaboration with external partners to provide all-around case planning.

EPS' Offender Management Program

D+D Branch focuses on Edmonton’s most prolific and persistent offenders. By centralizing all offender management functions, we can prioritize, identify, and align functions with diversion and demand reduction strategies, initiatives, and programs within CSWB.

The objective is simple: by moving offenders away from a life of crime, and letting others know that police officers are watching them carefully, calls for service are reduced, and frontline officers have more time for other priority cases.

Offender management is a broad spectrum of approaches, with successful strategies including diversion, restorative justice, and focused deterrence, which is why these clients/offenders are then placed on the Offender Management Continuum: a fluid police and community agency action continuum that includes Prevention, Intervention, Targeting, Suppression, Enforcement for all the individuals managed by the D+D Branch. 

The ideal goal of the Continuum is to have all offenders at the Prevention end, where they are committing no crime and are using their own positive, natural supports in the community to help them stay away from anti-social behaviour.

The Diversion and Desistance Branch is split into two sections; each with their specific purpose.

D&D Support Section Within this section, there is a support S/Sgt who has supervision of the Offender Identification and Selection Unit (ISU), the support Sgt who supervises the Navigators and Registered Social Workers and the Admin clerk. ISU is responsible for feeding the intelligence to the other areas of the branch. They do this by utilizing our Client Identification Matrix.

Next is the Integrated Offender Management Section. This section is made up of two S/Sgt’s one supervises three Warrant Apprehension and Diversion teams (WADU) and the Detectives assigned to Offender Management (IOM). WADU are primarily focused on the targeting, suppression, and enforcement angle of the branch. Although their skills include investigations, and enforcement, they do this with an eye for diverting, intervention, and promotion of desistance through off ramping. The IOM Detectives hold a case load of clients who are actively working to change their lifestyle in a positive manner.

The other S/Sgt supervises the Behavioural Assessment Unit (BAU), and Sex Offender Registry Unit. These Detective deal with the High Harm clients. They have caseloads of offenders whom they work with and focus much of their time in prevention and intervention tactics.