Criminal Justice Diversion Programs

What is this strategy?

Support pre-arrest or post-arrest diversion programs, or pre-trial service programs, that connect individuals involved or at risk of becoming involved in the justice system to addiction treatment, recovery support, harm reduction services, primary healthcare, prevention, or other services or supports they need, or that provide any of these services or supports.

Why diversion programs?

Justice diversion programs provide an alternative to incarceration for people with mental health and substance use conditions. These programs are intended to address the health and well-being of individuals instead of punishing them for exhibiting symptoms of their disease. Not only do these programs better serve individuals at risk of incarceration or otherwise becoming involved in the justice system, but they also better serve correctional staff members by more accurately pairing individuals with providers that can meet their unique needs not typically met by carceral settings.


  • Read about recommended strategies for adapting interventions to better support crisis response and pre-arrest diversion in rural communities
  • Watch a short video overview of recovery courts in North Carolina

Complete List of Resources