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Court-based diversion

People in need of behavioral health services are identified and referred to a court-based program in lieu of traditional case processing. These programs often include a supervision component and connections to treatment and services.

Local Examples

New York, NY Education & Assistance Corporation (EAC)

  • The EAC team works throughout the New York City court system to provide screening, clinical evaluations, and risk assessments as well as referrals, placement, connection to treatment support and services, and ongoing monitoring for the court in addition to case management for participants.
  • EAC provides these services both when the case is being processed within a treatment or mental health court or on a more general docket; this flexibility allows the criminal justice system to determine the best avenue for justice-related management, independent of the provision of the clinical decision-making by EAC.
  • EAC uses the Clinically Informed Judicial Supervision model, which considers a person's assessed risk and need to inform judges' responses at the onset of the diversion and throughout program participation.
  • The program allows for and prioritizes transparent communication between participants and court personnel, which creates the opportunity for constructive and flexible judicial responses.
For more information on this example, see this resource:

Hennepin County, MN

  • Hennepin County’s court-based diversion program was created in partnership with the Minneapolis attorney’s office, the public defender’s office, and the courts.
  • This model focuses on social workers assisting participants in connecting with services and resources.
  • Participant progress in the program determines court disposition, dropped or amended charges, and other decisions.



2 - Reduce length of stay
3 - Increase connection to treatment

Last updated: January 3, 2023