Co-Response Jail Diversion

Working together for better lives and stronger communities.

About Our Co-Response jail diversion Model

The Model

Advocates operates pre-arrest Co-Response Programs in multiple police departments across Massachusetts. These programs are founded on the understanding that by working together, clinicians and law enforcement can respond most appropriately to the needs of individuals in the community who are in crisis.

Advocates award-winning Co-Response model requires extensive collaboration between the clinician and the patrol division. Our clinicians train and work alongside police officers to help respond to crises and determine appropriate outcomes. Cross-training between the police and these embedded clinicians has resulted in mutual understanding and respect for each other’s roles.

Working in the field with Co-Response clinicians allows police officers the opportunity to deliver rapid mental health services to those they encounter. Police departments report that the number of re-occurring calls has decreased as people are referred to more appropriate services.

Arrest & Emergency Department Diversion

Co-Response clinicians are able to facilitate arrest diversions due to immediate presence on the scene. On average, 75% of individuals presenting with criminal behavior are diverted from arrest and into appropriate treatment. Individuals who are not able to be diverted (more serious crimes/mandatory arrests) also receive support, resources, and referrals from the clinician while in police custody.

Given that Co-Response clinicians are on the scene alongside police, they are able to provide rapid assessment and de-escalation. This allows for a reduction in costly and unnecessary transportation to hospital emergency departments for mental health assessment.   

Co-Response Training and Technical Assistance Center (CR-TTAC)

Launched in 2018, the Advocates Co-Response Training and Technical Assistance Center (CR-TTAC) is the first hub for the Co-response Model in Massachusetts. The Center expands Advocates’ successful Co-repsonse model and offers a unique opportunity for police departments to receive evidence-based Mental Health First Aid trainings to better serve their community.  To learn more about how the CR-TTAC can assist in bringing a Co-response program to your community please contact Katelyn Dehey, CR-TTAC Manager at KDehey@advocates.org

Program History

Advocates launched the first Pre-Arrest Co-Response Program in Massachusetts in 2003 at the Framingham Police Department. The model was successfully replicated in Marlborough (2008), Watertown (2011),  Natick (2019), and offered on a regional basis in Ashland, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton (2015), Hudson & Sudbury (2018), Franklin & Medway (2018), and Westborough, Southborough, & Northborough (2019).  In 2018, the first Co-Response Training and Technical Assistance Center operating nationally was launched to expand replication efforts throughout Massachusetts.

Related News/Updates

Massachusetts Is Trying a Radical But Shockingly Simple New Response to the Opioid Crisis

Massachusetts is changing how to better respond to and support individuals with substance use disorders. The Advocates co-responder jail diversion model is helping to equip police departments to assist, rather than arrest, and connect people experiencing mental health or substance-related crisis to the resources they need. Read this recent Mothers Jones article to learn more.