Provincial Diversion Program
The Provincial Diversion Program helps ensure that, whenever possible, adults and adolescents with a mental illness who commit minor, low-risk offenses and come into conflict with the law receive appropriate care, support and treatment in the community rather than in the criminal justice system.
If eligible for Diversion Services, and with consent, the individual receives community-based care and treatment that focuses on the specific mental health or life skills issues that may have contributed to the commission of the offense.
An evaluation of the Calgary Diversion Pilot Project in 2004 demonstrated the following successful client outcomes: improvement in mental health, reduction of symptoms associated with criminal behaviour, withdrawal of charges because of the diversion program, client satisfaction with program supports and treatment.
In September 2005, Alberta Health Services, Addiction and Mental Health, received funding from Alberta Health & Wellness to implement the Provincial Diversion Program in Lethbridge and St. Paul, to sustain the current diversion services in Calgary, and provide a position in Edmonton to expand beyond the pre-charge diversion that is part of the Police and Crisis Team (P.A.C.T.) initiative.