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Jail Diversion

Jail diversion programs are prebooking or postbooking interventions aimed at decreasing the involvement of persons with serious mental illness (SMI) or co-occurring substance use disorders (COD) in the criminal justice system and channeling them into community-based treatment and other services. They are considered a diversion from typical criminal justice prosecution and sentencing and into community-based programs that can better meet the needs of offenders with complex behavioral health needs. Diversion may occur early in the justice processing, such as at arrest, or later by diverting an individual convicted of a crime from a jail or prison term and into a community program. This entry provides an overview of the development and expansion of jail diversion, examines the opportunities, or intercepts, for diversion, then explores ...

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