This resource was created by SMI Adviser content partners and approved by the SMI Adviser clinical expert team for inclusion in the knowledge base.
People who have serious mental illness (SMI) are involved in the criminal justice system at higher rates than the general public. In many communities, the behavioral health and criminal justice systems work together on policies and programs to help redirect or “divert” people from the criminal court system into treatment. It’s important for individuals and family members to understand what happens when someone is involved in the criminal justice system. Use this helpful guide to identify when and how you may be able to ask for diversion to mental health treatment, and how to support and advocate for a loved one throughout the process.