The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office takes a constructive, community-first approach to criminal justice focused on community-based social services to reduce recidivism, racial disparities and inequalities in the criminal justice system. By reinventing and reforming the traditional response to crime and conviction, the Office works to increase public safety while also reducing its reliance on the traditional prosecution responses like incarceration, conviction, fines and fees.

Fresh Start
Fresh Start is a pre-arraignment diversion program intended to address the root causes of crime and improve public safety through social services, counseling, and rehabilitation as an alternative to fines, conviction, and incarceration for certain non-violent, first-time, low-level offenders in Westchester County. With Fresh Start, the District Attorney’s Office refers to the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health eligible first-time defendants charged with non-violent, low-level offenses, such as Petit Larceny, Disorderly Conduct, and Trespassing, among others. Upon competition of the program, the DA’s Office declines to prosecute the participants’ charges. Offenders who do not participate, or fail to complete the program, are required to appear in court as originally scheduled and face criminal prosecution by the DA’s Office.

Westchester Misdemeanor Wellness Court (WMWC)
The Westchester Misdemeanor Wellness Court (WMWC), which will offer eligible individuals community-based mental health treatment and services as an alternative to conventional prosecution. Operating out of White Plains City Court, the WMWC is another initiative in DA Rocah’s agenda to advance community-based violence prevention and rehabilitation that will serve as a practical and humane alternative for individuals who commit low-level crimes and are in need of treatment and services. The WMWC will also be an effective early intervention tool, to help prevent some individuals from committing more serious or violent felony crimes in the future. For details on WMWC’s eligibility, read the State of New York Unified Court System announcement

Westchester Overdose Prevention and Treatment Initiative (OPT-In)
The Westchester Overdose Prevention and Treatment Initiative (OPT-In) is a diversion program that offers community-based treatment and services instead of prosecution to individuals with substance use disorders arrested for misdemeanor drug possession in Westchester. The pre-arraignment initiative launched in September with White Plains Public Safety with the goal to expand the program countywide to all police departments in Westchester County.

OPT-In will connect participants, following arrest, with peer mentors who will explain the program and its benefits, and offer naloxone kits provided by the Urban League of Westchester. Peer mentors will direct participants to community health care providers who will develop individualized treatment plans.

Participants will have 30 days to have meaningful engagement in their treatment plan, and after a participant’s successful completion of the program, the DA’s office will decline prosecution. Individuals who do not undergo an assessment or do not meaningfully engage in their treatment plans will be required to appear in court as originally scheduled. OPT-In's harm-reduction approach is developed with the mission to create a proportionate and fair response to misdemeanor cases involving individuals with substance use disorders Request for more information or questions about OPT-In can be directed to the DA’s Office at (914) 995-3415.

Mount Vernon Emerging Adult Justice Part (EAJP)
The Office has been a proud partner since June 2021 in this innovative and specialized diversion program that provides valuable resources, services and opportunities for justice-facing young adult ages 18 to 25. The program serves as an alternative to conventional prosecution, conviction and fines, and was developed with the Mount Vernon City Court, the Legal Aid Society of Westchester, the Youth Shelter of Westchester, and the Office of Court Administration.

New Rochelle Opportunity Youth Part (OYP)
The Office is proud to be a participant in New Rochelle City Court Judge Jared Rice’s community-based initiative that provides mentorship and second-chance opportunities for justice-involved youth ages 16 to 24.

Educational Programs
The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office provides educational programs and trainings for students, parents and school staff to increase public safety initiatives related to Red Flag Laws, anti-violence and gun safety, drinking and driving, internet safety, bias and hate crimes, senior scam alerts, wage theft and labor fraud, and intimate partner and dating violence.