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Mecklenburg County Recovery Solutions: A Jail Diversion Continuum


Goal: Less Jail, More Treatment

This program supports local implementation and statewide expansion of trauma integrated jail diversion programs to reach the growing number of individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma related disorders involved in the justice system with a priority eligibility for veterans.

The case for Jail Diversion

People with mental illness:

  • Are more likely to be arrested
  • Face more serious charges
  • Receive stiffer sentences
  • Serve longer
  • Can’t make bail (lack income)
  • Have more difficulty coping—more behavior problems, sanctions, and infractions in prison
  • Are more vulnerable to being exploited and manipulated by other inmates
  • Often not identified in jail
  • Often prescribed cheaper substitute medications in jail

NC HB 1493 Section 10.49 (f) requires (within available resources)

  • Standardized screening instrument
  • A designated employee who screens daily jail booking log for known mental health consumers
  • Protocols for effective communication between the LME and jail staff
  • Training to help detention officers recognize signs of mental illness

About the Mecklenburg County Jail Diversion Continuum

Collaborative group working past 5 years, meets quarterly and focuses on:

  1. Post-booking jail diversion
    • Jail Diversion Clinician at Jail Central (Aleisa Keels-Wilson, 704-336-8539)
    • Jail Diversion Case Coordinator (George Watson, 704-336-6563)
    • Mental Health Court (Janeanne Tourtellott, 704-686-0300)
    • Clinician in the Public Defender’s Office (Sharlise Spindle, 704-347-7870)
    • Transitional Housing Program (includes pre-booking) 
  2. Pre-booking jail diversion
    • Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) through partnership with NAMI
    • Mobile Crisis (704-566-3410)
    • Crisis Stabilization Unit (opening pending)

Links and Contacts:

For more information about this program, contact:
Sarah Greene, 704-336-2944, Provided Services Organization Manager of Criminal Justice Partnerships


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