The Shelby County jail diversion project provided a successful strategy for identifying and developing appropriate diversion plans outlining linkage to necessary community treatment services and resources. Through a collaborative planning process with criminal justice and community stakeholders, individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use problems were diverted from the criminal justice system and into community-based treatment services. Implementation of the diversionary process and evidence-based integrated treatment services were funded through a Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) grant from June 1, 2003 to May 31, 2007. Foundations Associates, a leading behavioral healthcare provider of evidence-based treatment services for individuals with co-occurring disorders, provided integrated treatment services combined with best practice approaches for criminal justice involved populations.
Diversion program participants were enrolled in grant-funded services and offered the opportunity to participate in a longitudinal evaluation of diversion program services from February 2004 through May 2007. The purpose of this evaluation report is to document and describe project findings and results. A brief background and purpose of the jail diversion project is followed by a detailed description of project services. A chronological summary of project activities includes brief highlights for each year of grant funded services. The remaining sections detail evaluation protocols and results, including an overall conclusion of evaluation findings. Key highlights from this evaluation report include the following: