Community-based programs that provide individual and group counselling, educational services or other prescribed social services for adults who have been arrested for an offence such as drunkenness, domestic violence, drug crimes, traffic violations or purchase of sexual services and directed to participate in a corrective program in lieu of prosecution or, in some cases, sentencing for the offence.
Programs that divert individuals with serious mental illness (and often co-occurring substance abuse disorders) in contact with the justice system from jail and provide linkages to community-based treatment and support services. Included are diversion programs that occur at the point of contact with law enforcement before formal charges have been filed, and programs that divert offenders with mental illness after they have been charged and are awaiting trial. Most programs are characterized by special training for police officers and the availability of a twenty-four hour crisis drop-off centre with a no refusal policy that is available to receive persons brought in by the police. The objectives of the programs are to reduce the amount of time these individuals spend in jail and/or lockups on the current charge and to ensure that they are linked with an appropriate array of community-based treatment and support services.
Community-based programs that provide comprehensive social services for individuals younger than age eighteen who have committed a minor offense and are directed to participate in a diversion program as an alternative to arrest, prosecution or, in some cases, sentencing for the offence. Most juvenile diversion programs do an assessment of the individual's needs and provide and/or coordinate the delivery of the necessary services which may include individual, group or family counselling, substance abuse counselling, supervised recreational activities, vocational guidance, tutorial services and supplemental referrals for other needs.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.