Structured Resources to Help Avoid Incarceration
The HOPE Adult Diversion Program addresses and supports the mental, social, and physical health of individuals who, under typical circumstances, would be prosecuted in the criminal justice system.
The Foundation of HOPE has partnered with the community and local law enforcement to implement a pre-arrest Adult Diversion Program in order to better utilize public resources and help individuals in need. Officers who encounter people experiencing mental health crises and poverty-driven circumstances have traditionally been left with limited options. Now, using established criteria, officers can divert individuals involved in low-level offenses into the HOPE program and away from a criminal record, prosecution, and incarceration. Qualifying individuals will instead be provided resources structured to their specific areas of need by local providers with outcome- and evidence-based programs. Services will include mental health support, substance counseling, medical treatment, housing, food assistance, and more.
This joint effort aims to alleviate systemic social challenges in the Pittsburgh area through the recognition that many will be better served by a public health approach, rather than by the criminal justice system. It will also allow police to dedicate more time to addressing the public safety concerns for which they are exclusively trained.
The HOPE Adult Diversion Program will help the community by:
- Offering productive and supportive alternatives to incarceration
- Strengthening community relations with law enforcement
- Providing wrap-around care for Substance Use Disorder
- Bridging the gap between police and substance-use individuals
- Connecting individuals to services in real time
The HOPE Adult Diversion Program has the support of numerous stakeholders and community members, including:
- Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office
- Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
- Pittsburgh Public Safety Department
- Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office
- Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office
- Local magistrates
- Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT)
- Allegheny County Department of Human Services
- Allegheny County Health Department
- Allegheny Health Network
- The Buhl Foundation