Jail Diversion

Working together for better lives and stronger communities.

About Our Jail Diversion Model

The Model

The only co-responder jail diversion model in Massachusetts, Advocates JDP pairs police officers with masters-level clinicians who ride alongside officers on all calls involving individuals in a mental health or substance-related crisis. They provide much needed de-escalation, crisis stabilization, assessment/evaluation services and on-the-job training. Advocates Jail Diversion Program is also the only model operating in the Commonwealth that facilitates dual diversions - both from arrest and from emergency departments.

Arrest & Emergency Department Diversion

By providing treatment-based alternatives, clinicians are able to facilitate arrest diversions and reduce costly and unnecessary referrals to hospital emergency departments. Individuals who are not able to be diverted from arrest also receive support, resources, and referrals while in police custody.

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 Jail Diversion Co-Responder Model and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in Massachusetts. The Center expands Advocates’ successful Jail Diversion 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 Jail Diversion Program to your community please contact Katelyn Dehey, CR-TTAC Manager at KDehey@advocates.org

Program History

Advocates launched the first Pre-Arrest Co-Responder Jail Diversion Program (JDP) in Massachusetts in 2003 at the Framingham Police Department. The model was successfully replicated in Marlborough (2008), Watertown (2011), Natick (2018), and offered on a regional basis in Ashland, Sherborn, Holliston, Hopkinton (2015), Hudson / Sudbury (2018), and Franklin / Medway.  In 2018, the new Co-Response Training and Technical Assistance center 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

We’re winding through a residential neighborhood in Framingham, Massachusetts, when the radio beeps. From the back seat of officer Jose Goncalves’ police cruiser, Danielle Larsen stops typing and listens. “Well-being check,” a dispatcher says, reading off an address; it’s outside Goncalves’ coverage area. “The occupant called to say her boyfriend is not waking up. Concerned about drugs in there. Going to get the fire rolling.” Goncalves keeps driving in silence.

New Jail Diversion Program Garnering Success in Boroughs

Many times when law enforcement answers a call, it is not a straightforward situation. There may be stressful family dynamics or a person with an emotional, mental health or substance abuse issue at play.