The Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) Initiative released a discussion draft of the “Data-Driven Justice Playbook: How to Develop a System of Diversion.” A copy of the discussion draft can be found here. The 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 community support, identifying the target population, creating a system-wide diversion strategy, creating linkages to service providers, delivering ongoing services effectively and leveraging available funding to support care and services. In addition to providing communities with a roadmap to implement a DDJ system, the discussion draft highlights innovative practices, includes short case studies of effective local strategies and provides answers to questions about how to share health data and comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). By focusing on how to improve the outcomes and trajectories of high-utilizers, a DDJ system also works to increase public safety and more effectively use resources.
To improve how the DDJ Playbook benefits communities interested and involved in DDJ, NACo requests feedback, comments and suggestions to incorporate in future revisions of the playbook. NACo also welcomes examples of the challenges communities are facing in the design and implementation of policies intended to break the cycle of incarceration and of the effective policies and practices that communities are using to divert individuals with complex health and human services needs from the criminal justice system. Please send your comments, ideas and examples to:
Natalie Ortiz, Data-Driven Justice Program Manager
The Data-Driven Justice Initiative includes a group of counties, municipalities and states from across the country that have committed to use data and technology to target and improve the outcomes of high-utilizers ― individuals who have complex mental illness, substance abuse and health needs and frequently cycle through jails, hospital emergency rooms, homeless shelters and other health and human services ― and people held in jail before trial simply because they cannot afford to bond out, not because they are a risk to the community or a risk of flight.