Pretrial and Prosecutor Diversion


Pretrial and prosecutor diversion programs are developed for individuals who may be detained and face an initial hearing. These programs are often led by pretrial services divisions, prosecutors’ offices, or courts. The diversion options focus on identifying and connecting individuals to treatment and other services.

Pretrial diversion is an alternative to prosecution, which diverts individuals into a supervision program with accompanying treatment services. Individuals who complete the program will often have the charges dismissed at the end of the program.

Prosecutor-led diversion programs are characterized as diversion programs where prosecutors are responsible for determining the eligibility criteria for a diversion program, what conditions must be met to complete the program, and determining if the program participant has completed the program.


Program Models

The Chatham County District Attorney’s Office directs Youth Intercept, a violence-prevention program that aims to break the cycle of youth violence and retaliation. Youth Intercept provides educational services and referrals to public health services to at-risk youth, particularly African American males between the ages of 10 to 18. Youth Intercept conducts its work in partnership with Memorial Health University Medical Center, Chatham County Juvenile Court System, Chatham County Sheriff’s Department, and Chatham County Public Schools. Key activities include a hospital-based violence intervention program for youth injured by violence and a school-based youth development program for students with a history of truancy or behavioral issues, tutoring, career awareness, referrals for counseling, case management, and other services.

The JJSIP program provides a framework for implementing best practices throughout the juvenile justice system. JJSIP is composed of two tiers (click on each link for an overview): the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders (including the Disposition Matrix) and the Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol (SPEP). The JJSIP project aims to provide “the right service for the right kid, at the right time, in the right dosage.”

Based on the belief that many low-level criminal offenders with substance abuse issues need community-based treatment rather than incarceration, the Prosecutor’s Office in Hocking County, OH, is developing a prosecutor-led diversion program in partnership with Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime of Southeast Ohio (TASC). Case managers from TASC will screen prospective participants for eligibility and ensure they receive counseling and treatment to address the underlying causes of addiction and criminal offending. A specialized prosecutor and a diversion coordinator oversee the program to ensure participants have the tools necessary to maintain sobriety after the program’s conclusion.

The Milwaukee County Diversion Program is a prefiling program in which the prosecutor receives the case from law enforcement but opts not to file charges with the court, provided the defendant completes diversionary programming. Every defendant arrested and booked into the Milwaukee County Central Criminal Justice Facility is administered a risk assessment to determine eligibility. If eligible, participants receive services that include educational programs, required restitution, drug treatment, and attendance at a restorative justice conference. If a participant completes the program’s individualized treatment and social services and remains crime-free for the program period, the participant’s case will not be filed with the court. Program failure results in the participant’s case being filed in court.

The Missoula County Calibrate Pretrial Diversion Program is a formalized pretrial diversion program whose target population is first-time offenders. A screening process, which includes consultation with victims, determines who is accepted into pretrial diversion. Once accepted, participants must adhere to agreed-upon conditions for a set time frame. Requirements of pretrial diversion are tailored to a participant’s individual needs and circumstances. Participation in Missoula County’s Diversion Program is voluntary. Successful completion of the program results in the dismissal of the criminal charge.

The San Francisco Pretrial Diversion program is a community-based alternative to prosecution and fines, geared towards people with little prior justice involvement. Programs connect newly arrested people with case managers who develop community supervision goals and guidelines. These may include community-based treatment programs, community service projects, and regular participation in therapeutic groups. Once the client completes the requirements of their treatment plan, their case is dismissed by the Court, which provides a strong incentive for the client to engage with services and avoid illegal activity.


Below is a list of funding opportunities that have been previously available from federal and private funding sources. Please note that although the funding deadlines may have passed, they can still be reviewed and considered for future planning purposes. You can check back often on the Announcements page for current funding opportunities as they are announced.

Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Site-based Program

Technical Assistance

Many federal agencies and other partners offer assistance, in addition to grant funding, to jurisdictions, agencies and stakeholders to address training needs or the need for subject matter expertise to address local issues or challenges. Through these resources, you can access recent publications, tools, often request one-on-one remote or offsite assistance. Examples of assistance can include time with trainings, consulting time with subject matter experts, and/or opportunities for connecting with peers doing similar work.


Bureau of Justice Assistance National Training and Technical Assistance Center (BJA NTTAC)

BJA NTTAC offers training and technical assistance services to state, local, and tribal justice agencies at no cost. BJA NTTAC can assist prosecutors’ offices, police departments, city and county commissioners, and corrections departments. The goal is to provide these agencies with the resources to reduce violent and drug-related crime, support law enforcement, and combat victimization. You can request assistance here.

Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Program Training and Technical Assistance

The COSSAP training and technical assistance (TTA) program offers a variety of learning opportunities and assistance to support BJA COSSAP grantees and other local, tribal, and state stakeholders to build and sustain multidisciplinary criminal justice responses to illicit substance use and misuse. Training and technical assistance is provided in a variety of formats, including virtual and in-person training events, workshop and meeting presentations, and online resources. TTA deliveries are provided to requestors free of charge. You can request assistance here.