This report presents the results of a national survey of criminal justice diversion programs and initiatives.
This report, compiled by the Center for Health & Justice at TASC, presents the results of a national survey of criminal justice diversion programs and initiatives. Key observations that emerged from the survey are: 1) a common critical component among many of the programs is a focus on individuals with substance use and mental health issues; 2) many diversion programs are limited to individuals with first-time or low-level offenses; 3) no apparent set of standards for collecting or publishing data for the purposes of evaluating different types of programs against common sets of performance measures such as cost savings or reduced recidivism currently exist for these programs; 4) standard definitions and language with regard to programs and interventions that engage in diversionary practices have not been adopted; and 5) many jurisdictions are exploring diversion alternatives out of necessity due to the increase in numbers of people entering courts and correctional institutions and the decrease in availability of resources. The primary objective of the survey was to explore the landscape of diversion from criminal justice involvement and collect information about programs that offer diversion as an alternative to traditional justice case processing. The survey collected information on program design, participating stakeholders, affected communities, implementation challenges and successes, and cost savings and overall effectiveness. A set of themes and ideas that could serve as a framework for future discussion and research are included in the report. Figures, tables, and references
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