Office of Diversion & Reentry

Jail and Community Based Diversion Innovative Programs


ODR’s jail and community based diversion programs serve to reduce the number of inmates in the LA County jail who suffer from mental and/or substance use disorders by removing them from the jail through various court interventions or through pre-arrest or pre-booking diversion and providing them with care and housing.

The office of Diversion and Reentry values research. Scientific research performed by RAND, “Estimating the Size of the Los Angeles County Jail Mental Health Population Appropriate for Release into Community Services, “ studied the County jail mental health jail population in order to identify the percentage of persons who could be safely diverted from jail into community settings of care.

ODR’s report, “Scaling Up Diversion and Reentry Efforts for People with Serious Clinical Needs,” provides recommendations on the community capacity need by level of care based upon jail demand.  This report includes ODR’s study of the jail mental health population, “An estimate of persons in the jail mental health population likely to be appropriate for safe release into community services.”

This 5 minute video highlights some of the individuals served by ODR’s diversion programs.

Our most recent jail diversion dashboard provides the numbers served by program.

ODR Housing: Permanent supportive housing, intensive case management, formal probation
Began August, 2016

The Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR) Housing program is a permanent supportive housing program to serve individuals who are homeless, have a serious mental health disorder, and who are incarcerated in the Los Angeles County Jail. The program is offered to pretrial defendants who have criminal felony cases through a partnership with the Superior Court. The ODR pretrial program attempts to resolve criminal felony cases early and divert defendants into ODR Housing with a grant of probation. The intervention consists of three components: pre-release jail in-reach services, enhanced treatment efforts (additional clinical assessments and immediate initiation of medications, as indicated), and immediate interim housing upon release from jail in anticipation of permanent supportive housing. Clients in the ODR Housing program are assigned an Intensive Case Management Services provider who works with the client as they transition from custody to community. The Intensive Case Management Services providers serve as the core point of contact for the client’s medical, mental health, and other supportive services.

MIST-CBR: Misdemeanor Incompetent to Stand Trial Community-Based Restoration
Began October, 2015

The Misdemeanor Incompetent to Stand Trial-Community Based Restoration (MIST-CBR) program diverts individuals facing misdemeanor charges who are found incompetent to stand trial into community based settings to be restored to competency. The community-based settings are tailored to meet the needs and clinical acuity of the clients; placement ranges from acute inpatient to open residential settings.

FIST-CBR and The Off-Ramp: Felony Incompetent to Stand Trial Community-Based Restoration and The Off-Ramp, which is a program effectuating competency findings and services for persons under PC 1370 (a)(1)(g).
Began July, 2018

The Felony Incompetent to Stand Trial-Community Based Restoration (FIST-CBR) program diverts individuals facing felony charges who are found incompetent to stand trial into community based settings to be restored to competency. The community-based settings are tailored to meet the needs and clinical acuity of the clients; placement ranges from acute inpatient to open residential settings.  The Off-Ramp is a program that utilizes PC 1370 (a)(1)(G), which allows those on the wait list who have become competent to be adjudicated and diverted to housing and care in the community.  FIST-CBR and The Off-Ramp are a collaboration with the Department of State Hospitals to reduce the wait list and wait time of those waiting in jail for State Hospital placement.

Department of State Hospitals Diversion: Specialized use of PC 1001.36
Began March, 2019

AB 1810 and SB 215 amended Penal Code Sections 1001.35-1001.36 to create a pathway for courts to authorize pre-trial diversion.  DSH Diversion is funded by the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to support the diversion of clients with serious mental illnesses who have the potential to be deemed incompetent to stand trial on felony charges.  ODR provides supportive housing, intensive case management, and clinical services to participants and the Probation Department provides pre-trial supervision.

Maternal Health: Diversion of pregnant women from custody
Began March, 2018

Under the directive of the LA County Board of Supervisors, ODR has prioritized diverting pregnant women from the jails to the community with supportive services and housing provided by ODR. A majority of pregnant women served by ODR reside in specialized interim housing settings that allow women to remain with their children until they can move into permanent supportive housing.

Olive View Medical Center Inpatient Psychiatric Unit-Diversion from Custody to Hospital Care
Began June, 2018

ODR partners with Olive View-UCLA to run an 18 bed inpatient psychiatric unit.  ODR diverts some of the most acute psychiatric patients in custody to inpatient care on the 6C unit at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Patients come from the jail’s forensic inpatient unit (FIP) watch list or from high observation housing in the jail. In order to gain a release from custody to Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, the ODR clinical team quickly intervenes and requests hearings for the community release of acutely ill persons in custody.

Began November, 2017

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) represents ODR’s efforts to intervene at the earliest point of contact with law enforcement to reduce the number of individuals who enter the jail system and to stem further justice involvement. LEAD is a pre-arrest community-based diversion model that diverts individuals with repeated low-level drug related offenses at the earliest contact with law enforcement to harm reduction based case management and social services as an alternative to jail and prosecution.

LEAD operational partners, including prosecutors, case managers, and law enforcement, meet bi-weekly to coordinate care, engagement and advocacy efforts for program participants.

LEAD is overseen by the stakeholder-driven LEAD Policy Committee, which includes prosecutors, public defenders, law enforcement, harm reduction, substance use treatment, health and housing service providers, justice reform advocates, community members and people with lived experience of incarceration, substance use, and homelessness.

Sobering Center
Began January, 2017

ODR maintains a 50 bed Sobering Center in Downtown Los Angeles. The mission of the Sobering Center is to reduce incarcerations, minimize hospitalizations and assist active, chronic and serial inebriates by providing a path to recovery in a safe and welcoming environment. The Sobering Center is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and provides respite, showers, hydration, light snacks, some medical monitoring, if necessary. The average length of stat is 6-12 hours. Clients are assessed for biopsychosocial needs and linked to necessary resources. Recovery staff also assess for motivation to continue treatment at various levels of care.

Mental Evaluation Teams

ODR provides funding to DMH and the Sheriff’s Department to support the Mental Evaluation Teams, specially-trained field units that respond to community members who have a mental disorder and are in crisis (e.g., barricaded suspects, suicide threats, other self-inflicted injuries).