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50 Clinton Street, Suite 107 Hempstead, NY 11550
+1 (516) 539 0150
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Mental Health Diversion

Purpose; Mental Health Diversion

Program Overview

Mental Health Diversion is an official Council of State Governments Mental Health Court Learning Site that provides alternative-to-incarceration court monitoring services for defendants with serious mental health issues involved in the criminal justice system who may or may not suffer from a co-occurring substance use disorder.

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Clients Served Last Year:

775

Funding Generously Provided by:

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, and private donations.

Mental Health Diversion - Susanna Preziosi

Dr. Susanna Preziosi
Clinical Director

Henry AlgarinHenry Algarin; Program Director

Henry Algarin
Program Director

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Dr. Edward Fernandez
Clinical Director

Contact Information:

Bronx Mental Health Court

1020 Grand Concourse
North Professional Wing
Bronx, NY 10451
(718) 538-7416
SPreziosi@nyctasc.org

Brooklyn Mental Health Diversion

175 Remsen Street, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 237-9404
HAlgarin@nyctasc.org

Queens Mental Health Diversion

120-34 Queens Boulevard Suite 410
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
(718) 268-5657
Efernandez@nyctasc.org

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Program Description

The Problem:

Individuals with mental illness are over-represented in the criminal justice system and have other risk factors that make them more susceptible to being re-arrested. Jails and prisons often do not provide consistent, appropriate mental health and substance abuse treatment and traditional court models do not allow for a more individualized approach necessary for clients with serious mental health issues. As a result, these individuals are more likely to cycle through re-arrest and re-incarceration.

Our Solution:

Divert eligible offenders out of the criminal justice system and provide them with case management and treatment in order to aid in their recovery and reduce recidivism.

How We Do it:

Based on individualized treatment plans, Mental Health Diversion addresses individuals’ mental health needs by increasing linkages to community treatment. Specifically, risk factors such as substance abuse, employment, education, leisure activities, social support, or criminogenic thinking are addressed and if needed, psychological assessments may involve psychological testing for diagnostic clarification (including an assessment of intellectual disabilities) and a violence risk assessment. In addition, Mental Health Diversion provides clinically-informed case management and monitoring for the courts, reporting participants’ progress on a regular basis through their mandate.

How You Can Help:

The Mental Health Diversion programs are in need of new computers. To support Mental Health Diversion with a gift, click here or call (516) 539-0150 x117.

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The Outcomes of Mental Health Diversion

Individuals’ needs and risk factors are specifically addressed so they can receive proper treatment and other ancillary services needed to recover from addiction and/or mental illness, which results in a decrease of recidivism.

What People Say About Mental Health Diversion

Upon George’s initial charge and referral, he was in denial of his substance use and was arrested for multiple petty larceny charges. He began working with us and had a difficult start, having been rearrested while in treatment with us. However, after this particular arrest, he opened up to his case manager, and admitted to his crack addiction and past heroin abuse. After this point, and with the support of his case manager, he was able to enter an intensive outpatient treatment program for substance use and mental health. Since that time, he has been succeeding in all aspects of his program, testing negative for all substances and has not been rearrested. In addition, he has reengaged with his family and has plans to be more involved in the relationship with his daughter.

Jeanette Ackerman
Mental Health Diversion Staff
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