Diversion of Corrections

SUPPORTING COMMUNITY-BASED MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT 

We believe that by offering people driven by addiction and mental health disorders treatment and supportive services instead of jail, those people will have a better chance of long-term recovery.

The Health Agency’s Office of Diversion and Reentry is leading the County diversion effort to address untreated mental illness and substance abuse that is often the root cause of crime.

Instead of locking up people with mental disorders or releasing them from jail without support, we aim to connect them to professional treatment structured to treat and stabilize them.

The Health Agency is working with the justice system to provide coordinated support services for those exiting the county jail system, and to direct low-level and nonviolent offenders to appropriate community treatment programs.

We are also working with 911 call centers, law enforcement agencies, paramedic and ambulance services and community navigators to link those with health needs to mental health programs, substance abuse treatment, health care services and supportive housing options.

This approach is intended to reduce interaction with the criminal justice system for individuals experiencing mental health issues or engaged in substance abuse, and to promote the use of community-based restorative services, which have been shown to help reduce recidivism.