Diversion strategies offer alternatives to incarceration for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders. Pre-arrest diversion strategies range from specialized police-based response models, such as Crisis Intervention Training, to direct handoffs to community-based organizations that are able to effectively address the underlying issues leading to law enforcement contact. Diversion can also occur at other points in criminal justice processing, including at intake or during judicial processing. Identifying an appropriate diversion strategy requires jurisdictions to identify where high utilizers are encountered in the justice system, what programs and services they need and the resources that are available in the community (or can be created in the community) that can serve as alternatives to usual justice system processing. In general, a diversion strategy will promote better public safety outcomes, more efficient use of public resources and increase linkages across health, behavioral health, housing and other social support systems.
This presentation from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) discusses diversion opportunities specifically designed for veterans, including using the Sequential Intercept Model to identify alternatives to arrest and post-arrest strategies.
The Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) Playbook outlines six strategic steps communities can take when building a system that diverts high-utilizers from courts and jails to appropriate treatment and services in the community that can provide long-term stability to individuals’ health and social circumstances. The six strategic steps include building co
This policy report describes the criminal justice costs that are avoided because of the Bexar County Jail Diversion program. The diversion program relies on a multi-pronged approach, including pre- and post-booking interventions. Costs were estimated using state data as well as case-level costs from similar programs. Studies of cost-effective
A description of the Jail Alternatives Program in Johnson County, including how the county uses the sequential intercept model to assist individuals in effectively managing their mental illnesses and/or substance abuse disorders before they become involved in or penetrate further into the criminal justice system.