Two million people with serious mental illness enter U.S. jails each year. Jail diversion is a legal practice in which people with serious mental illness are diverted from the criminal justice system and in to treatment.

The project will assess how brief jail stays before initiating diversion versus immediate diversion: 1) increase participants treatment adherence and reduce use of crisis care; 2) reduce recidivism among participants, including violent crimes and drug offenses that impact public safety; and 3) increase cost-effectiveness, a critical measure of success for widespread implementation of jail diversion. This analysis will inform potential statutory change requiring brief incarcerations prior to diversion.