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Jail and Hospital Diversion – Crisis Diversion Strategies

Diversion programs seek to divert individuals from incarceration and hospitalization into community treatment settings. The earlier an individual is diverted in the process, the greater potential for criminal justice and other crisis systems savings. Pre-booking diversion programs attempt to divert individuals before they are booked into jail. Crisis diversion facilities also help divert individuals in crisis from hospital emergency rooms and subsequent hospital admissions.

Diversion programs work in partnership to assist law enforcement and other first responders in recognizing signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorders, and identifying alternatives to jail and hospital settings for individuals in a behavioral health crisis. 



Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) provides intensive training to law enforcement and other first responders in effectively assisting and responding to people with mental illness or substance use disorders. These trainings provide education, skills and resources to better equip first responders to help individuals access the most appropriate and least restrictive services while preserving public safety.

For more information on CIT classes and activities:

The Crisis Solutions Center (CSC) seeks to improve the lives of those impacted by mental illness and substance abuse by providing therapeutic alternatives in the community resulting in reduced admissions to jails, hospital emergency departments and psychiatric hospital inpatient units. The CSC is composed of three linked programs including : a Crisis Diversion Facility for adults in crisis who need stabilization and referral to appropriate community based services; a Crisis Diversion Interim Services for individuals who need intensive case management to identify and engage in available housing and support options upon returning to their home community; and a Mobile Crisis Team that responds police and other first responders in the community to provide  in-the-moment crisis stabilization and linkage to appropriate services and supports.

Crisis Solutions Center

Target Population

Adults (18 and older) in crisis in the community, referred only by First Responders, who might otherwise be brought to a hospital emergency department or arrested for minor crimes and taken to jail.  Exclusionary criteria for admission include criminal charge/criminal history criteria and medical/behavioral criteria.

For more information on CSC programming and eligibility requirements:

Crisis Solutions Center: FAQ for Hospital Emergency Departments

Crisis Solutions Center: FAQ for Law Enforcement

DESC Crisis Solutions Center:

For more information contact Susan Schoeld, Crisis Diversion Program Manager, Diversion and Reentry Services

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0583