Collaboration: The Key to Successful Jail Diversion

Michael Franczak, Arizona Department of Health

Jail diversion by its very nature requires extensive collaboration and cooperation between a variety of agencies and providers who often approach this issue with different philosophies and missions. An effective Jail Diversion program would not be possible without numerous preliminary activities that set the stage for the trust and cooperation which is necessary to create a successful program. While not minimizing the important role played by the Criminal Justice system in the jail diversion process, the most critical element in the diversion effort is the presence of an adequate array of responsive behavioral health services. Diversion efforts without adequate services to divert the person "to" produce very short term results and may prove harmful to the person and the community. This presentation describes the development of the wide variety of collaboration that is necessary to link health and correction services and the specific examples of collaboration created in the Arizona Jail Diversion Project.

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Updated 05/20/2006