The Cost-Effectiveness of Criminal Justice Diversion Programs for People with Serious Mental Illness Co-Occurring with Substance Abuse: Four Case Studies


Many cities, counties, and states have criminal justice diversion or jail diversion programs, in which those committing low-level offenses and who have mental illness or substance abuse are diverted from the criminal justice system into treatment. However, there is little existing evidence on the cost and cost-effectiveness of such programs. This article presents the first such estimates for four sites. Estimates of the impact of diversion on both costs and effectiveness varied across the sites. This variation likely reflects heterogeneity in the structure and implementation of the programs across the sites. Directions for future research are suggested. © 2004, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice