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Pretrial diversion

At the pre-adjudication stage, people are identified as having a mental illness or co-occurring substance addiction and are referred to a pretrial diversion program. People referred to the program follow an alternative criminal justice case process and are connected with appropriate services and treatment.

For more information on this intervention, see this resource:
Local Examples

Miami-Dade County, FL Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida Criminal Mental Health Project (CMHP)

  • The post-booking component of the CMHP serves as a diversion option before adjudication for people who are eligible and voluntarily participate.
  • To be eligible, the person must have a documented serious mental illness and have been charged with most misdemeanors, a third-degree felony, or certain second-degree felonies.
  • Eligible defendants are identified by the jail's diversion team, who are then reviewed by the assistant state attorney and public defender for necessary approval and due process.
  • Participants' legal charges are suspended and subsequently dismissed or modified based on treatment engagement.
For more information on this example, see these resources:

Mobile County, AL

  • Since February 2021, Mobile County has partnered with the city prosecutor’s office on a treatment-based sentencing program in which individuals with nonviolent, non-sex offenses can enter into a plea agreement engaging in 12 months of mental health treatment and monitoring in exchange for having the charges dropped upon completion of the program.
  • Individuals who are enrolled in the program meet with a therapist to determine their individualized treatment plan, which includes case management services and may also include individual or group therapy; substance use treatment; prescriber visits; and referrals to other services as indicated. The selection and frequency of services are based on individual needs and may vary over the course of the 12-month program.
  • All participants receive monthly random drug screens.



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

Last updated: January 4, 2023