A 1992 national survey estimated that there were approximately 52 jail diversion programs for persons with mental illness. Currently, there are approximately 400 jail diversion programs across the U.S. This presentation will focus on the types of jail diversion programs that exist, the emerging types of programs, the political catalysts for this growth, how the issue of housing has been a primary impediment to the development of these programs, and how this issue continues to overwhelm many diversion programs. Particular attention will be on the role of homelessness in the rapid development of mental health courts and how this issue may compromise the cost savings sought with this type of diversion program.
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