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Eligibility and Process for Mental Health Diversion

Mental Health
Eligibility and Process for Mental Health Diversion

Mental health diversion is a program that helps individuals with mental illnesses avoid the criminal justice system. It provides them with access to treatment instead of being incarcerated, which can exacerbate their condition and lead to further harm. However, not everyone who suffers from a mental illness is eligible for this program, and the process can be complicated.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for mental health diversion, an individual must have a diagnosed mental illness or developmental disability that affects their ability to understand or communicate with law enforcement. They must also have committed a non-violent offense, such as drug possession or trespassing. Furthermore, they cannot harm themselves or others if released into the community.


The initial step in the process is when an individual is arrested and booked into jail; they may request mental health diversion. The court will then review their case to determine whether they meet the abovementioned eligibility criteria. If they do qualify for mental health diversion, they will enter a plea of guilty or no contest in exchange for enrollment in treatment programs rather than sentencing.

Treatment Programs:

The treatment programs offered depend on each individual’s specific needs and diagnosis. For example, some may receive medication-assisted treatment, while others might benefit from talk therapy or group counseling sessions. The duration of these programs can vary depending on how well an individual responds to treatment.

Graduation from Mental Health Diversion:

Once an individual completes their treatment program successfully, they will graduate from mental health diversion. They will then return to court, where their case will be dismissed with prejudice (meaning it cannot be brought up again), and all charges relating to their arrest will be dropped.

Mental Health Diversion

In conclusion, The Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed, understands the intricacies of mental health diversion and is dedicated to guiding individuals through this process. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges and believe that mental health concerns are a factor, we encourage you to reach out. Our experienced team is committed to advocating for your rights and ensuring you have access to the treatment and support you need. Contact us today at (510) 907-6600 to explore your options and take the first step towards a brighter future.

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