Jail diversion programs are classified into two general categories.

  These are pre-booking diversion programs and post-booking diversion programs (Steadman, Morris and Dennis, 1995).With pre-booking diversions, people who are mentally ill “may be identified for diversion by police before formal charges are brought,” (Steadman et al, 1995).  Police work with mental health agencies, and sometimes substance abuse programs, which are required to accept the suspects for treatment when the police bring them.  Post-diversion programs try to identify and divert the suspects with mental illness after they have been arrested for a crime (Steadman, et al, 1995).Diversion programs have been developed to help solve the problem of mentally ill individuals being incarcerated, who are not receiving proper treatment in jails (Arons, 2000).

  The mentally ill need to be treated for their illness, and possibly hospitalized.  Putting them in jail is not the solution.  This is the same case for drug addicts. “Diversion includes any alternative to incarceration that involves community-based treatment,” (Types of Jail Diversion Programs, n.

d.).I believe that diversion programs work.  Of course, no program is guaranteed to be 100% successful, but these programs are a step in the right directions.

  Mentally ill people, and those suffering from addictions should not be locked away in the prison system.  They need proper assistance.  There are still thousands of mentally ill people in jail; at least with diversion programs some of them will have the opportunity to turn their lives around.ReferencesArons, B.S. (2000).

Mental Health and Criminal Justice.  Retrieved April 10, 2007, from  http://www.hhs.gov/asl/testify/t000921a.htmlSteadman, H.

J., Morris, S.M., and Dennis, D.L. (1995).

  The Diversion of Mentally Ill Persons From Jails to Community-based Services: A Profile of Programs.  American Journal of Public Health 85(12): 1630-1635.http://www.gainscenter.samhsa.gov/html/tapa/jail%20diversion/types.asp