The Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor has instituted a Veterans Diversion Program for eligible residents within Hudson County. Under the VDP, as codified in the New Jersey Criminal Code at N.J.S.A. 2C:43-23 to 2C:43-31, veterans who are charged with certain non-violent crimes may be eligible for diversion to rehabilitative treatment in lieu of the traditional criminal justice process. The program involves intensive supervision and monitoring of a veteran’s treatment by an applicable treatment provider, the Veterans Administration, and the Prosecutor’s Office. Participants must meet all diversion requirements to remain in the VDP, and ordinarily, the program must be successfully completed within two years from the date of diversion. Upon successful completion of the VDP, the participant may have their charges dismissed.

To be eligible for the VDP, the applicant must be an active or former member of the United States armed forces, a reserve component thereof, or an organized militia of the State of New Jersey who has been discharged or released from active service under conditions other than dishonorable, and the charges must have some causal relation to their military service. Only non-violent, third-degree and fourth-degree crimes are eligible for diversion under this program. Veterans charged with more serious crimes, or who were previously convicted of a violent crime, will be deemed ineligible for VDP participation. In addition, offenses involving domestic violence are presumptively ineligible for diversion. See N.J.S.A. 2C:43-26b for more details on charges that are eligible for diversion. The Prosecutor’s Office retains sole discretion over who is admitted into the VDP in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:43-26(b)(1) .