Prearrest Diversion: Addressing the SUD-Mental Illness Link (COSSAP)

This article features a best practice from Charlotte, NC (Mecklenberg County) in which the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department (CMPD) creates linkage points during the criminal justice case processing, including diversion, jail, prison, and community supervisiou. Their work goes beyond traditional policing programming that educates young people on how to make better decisions, offers them m life-changing experiences, and facilitates positive interactions with law enforcement. These programs have helped to reduce adolescent arrest, address racial and ethnic disparities, and minimize the school-to-prison pipeline (STPP). The CMPD’s diversion programs are designed for first-time offenders and employ graduated response levels within schools and law enforcement to address these issues.