January 25, 2024
Media Contacts: Chistopher Kim
Justice Care and Opportunities Department’s Rapid Diversion Program Achieves Milestone of 2,000 Case Diversions
LOS ANGELES – The Justice Care and Opportunities Department (JCOD) marked a significant milestone recording its 2,000th case diversion through the Rapid Diversion Program (RDP).
On Jan. 25th, five participants were recognized at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center for their successful completion of the diversion program, which brought the total number of diversions through RDP to 2,000 cases since its inception in 2019.
“The success of RDP exemplifies the power of collaboration when we come together to create safer communities by providing individuals with the help and support they need to return home as contributing members of society,” stated JCOD Director Judge Songhai Armstead (Ret.). “Reaching 2,000 diversions is more than just a number or statistic, it represents lives changed and a path for a brighter future.”
“Today is a big milestone for the Rapid Diversion Program in LA County. A program that started small with a vision to change criminal justice has done just that. RDP has evolved from one misdemeanor courtroom in downtown to fully operational in felonies and misdemeanors in 7 courthouses across LA County,” said LA County Public Defender Ricardo D. Garcia. “This program is changing lives. With over 2,000 cases diverted and a 93% non-recidivism rate, our clients are not just remaining out of the system, but thriving with housing, jobs, and reunification with family members.”
RDP is a pretrial mental health diversion program under California Penal Code 1001.36 designed to support and provide care for individuals with a mental health diagnosis or substance use disorders.
Participants receive housing resources, case management services and support. The program lasts six months to two years, based on the severity of the charge and individual needs of each participant.
RDP is a collaborative effort among JCOD, public defenders, prosecutors, courts and clinical providers. To date, 93% of graduates have had no further involvement in the criminal justice system.
As of September 2023, RDP is available across seven courthouses in Los Angeles County which includes Airport Courthouse, Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center, Compton Courthouse, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, Michael Antonovich Antelope Valley Courthouse, Pasadena Courthouse and Van Nuys Courthouse West.
For more information about RDP and additional services provided by JCOD, visit jcod.lacounty.gov.