Jail Diversion

The Jail Diversion Program provide alternatives to incarceration to people who are arrested and jailed as a result of behaviors caused by their mental illness.

Jail diversion programs can help people who:

  • Have a serious mental illness
  • Are in jail on a minor charge
  • Are willing to agree to receive treatment for their mental illness
  • Would not be a risk to the public, if they were released from jail

Jail diversion programs are not for people who:

  • Do not have a mental illness
  • Are not currently in jail
  • Are not willing to cooperate with treatment of their mental illness
  • Are a significant risk to the safety of the public
  • Have been charged with a very serious crime (ex. murder or armed robbery)

Crisis Intervention Teams

Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs) are pre-booking jail diversion programs that aim to provide people in mental health crisis the care they need instead of incarceration.

Mental health professionals have established CIT programs to provide law enforcement with the skills they need to deal with someone in a mental health crisis.

CITs help to:

  • Reduce officer and consumer injuries
  • Reduce the arrests of people with mental illness
  • Increase referrals to treatment for people with mental illness


Phone: 919-715-2771
Email: contactdmh@dhhs.nc.gov

More Information

Jail Diversion in North Carolina
Standardized Mental Health Screen
Training on Screening for Mental Illness in Jail

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