Rediversion in Two Postbooking Jail Diversion Programs in Florida

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OBJECTIVE: Patterns of rediversion in two postbooking jail diversion programs in Florida were examined to better understand the extent to which diversion programs served repeating clients. Rediversion occurs when a former or current diversion program participant is booked into jail on a new charge and diverted once again through the same diversion program. METHODS: Data from 18 months of consecutive entries into the Hillsborough County jail diversion program (N=336) and Broward County mental health court (N=800) were examined. RESULTS: Similar rediversion patterns were observed for the two diversion programs. About one-fifth of those who were diverted during the 18-month study period were rediverted at least once. Nearly half of those who experienced rediversion did so within 90 days of their initial diversion. Although fewer than 6 percent were rediverted two or more times, these individuals accounted for a disproportionately large number of overall diversions and were rediverted more quickly than those with only one rediversion. CONCLUSIONS: The diversion programs examined here appear to be experiencing a level of repeating clients similar to that observed in other pathways for accessing mental health treatment.

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Psychiatric Services, v. 56, issue 7, p. 835-839