Jail diversion, or alternative sentencing, is a program for drug and alcohol offenders. To be eligible for this program, the case must be within the scope of non-violent drug and alcohol offenses. A judge may or may not grant the request depending on the facts presented in the case and the offender’s current circumstances. Jail diversion is the preferred approach for non-violent offenders because it enables them the chance to keep their job, continue to earn a living, support their family, and become a productive member of society.

Studies suggest that jail diversion programs have the potential to achieve positive results. Findings suggest that jail diversion reduces time spent incarcerated without increasing risk to public safety and linking participants with much needed community based services for the treatment of their condition. Though not a new concept, jail diversion has gained popularity as an alternative sentencing option due to several key factors; it has proven to be more effective in providing rehabilitation; there is reduced recidivism among participants; it ensures treatment for drug and alcohol abuse for addicted individuals; it has the potential to provide relief to over-crowded jails and offers budgetary savings when compared to housing non-violent offenders.

Any successful program needs to offer strong and consistent support. With this in mind, the program’s design necessitates a thorough evaluation and assessment, presentation of options for diversion to the court, intensive case management services, individual and group therapy, medication management, and referral to treatment programs when appropriate. Certain clients are better candidates for alternative sentencing than others. Those who acknowledge that previous methods of behavior were self-destructive and nonproductive; have the ability and determination to commit to Step One Recovery and an ongoing recovery program, and the capacity to adopt new skills and coping mechanisms to deal with and express feelings are all contributing factors to the success of alternative sentencing in any given case.

Individuals eligible for jail diversion services will receive timely treatment for their mental health and substance abuse condition and will either avoid incarceration altogether or receive a shorter jail term. Alternative sentencing services can be accessed on a pre-booking basis by contacting Step One Recovery who will complete a pre-admission screening, and determine eligibility for admission into the program. Ask us about alternative sentencing options.