Jail Diversion Program (JDP)

What is it?

The Jail Diversion Program (JDP) provides defendants with rehabilitative services that include a mental health treatment component when these services are reasonably expected to deter future criminal behavior. Success in JDP provides an alternative to traditional prosecution and may result in a dismissal or downgrading of charges.

Who is eligible?

JDP is designed for adult Union County residents who have a mental health diagnosis that contributed to non-violent offenses that they are charged with in Union County.  Applicants’ eligibility for the program is determined after legal review and clinical and case management assessments.

Are there exclusions?

Out-of-county residents, individuals who do not have mental health needs, and individuals who are facing a parole violation or charges solely in Family Court are excluded.  Generally, individuals with prior or current charges for any crimes of violence, with current charges that require a mandatory sentence or parole disqualifier, or with current or past charges that are subject to Megan’s Law, are excluded.  Individuals with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse are excluded; they may be better aided by Drug Court.

Who do you contact?

Further information can be obtained from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Offenders Unit at (908) 527-4500 or unionsou@ucpo.org.  Referral forms can be found here and  in all Union County criminal courtrooms.  Completed forms can be faxed to (908) 558-2594, Attn: Special Offenders Unit or emailed to unionsou@ucpo.org .

Are there conditions of participation?

JDP requires participants to voluntarily engage in treatment recommended by their treatment team and follow all conditions required by the court and team.  These conditions may include but are not limited to submitting to psychiatric or psychological evaluations, taking medications, medication monitoring, substance abuse treatment, if recommended, random drug screening, and attending therapy/counseling. Participants are also required to:

  • Regularly meet with a caseworker;
  • Consent to release of their information related to their medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse treatment;
  • Appear in court before the JDP judge on a monthly basis; and
  • Actively participate in the Jail Diversion Program for a minimum of eight months from date of entry.

Why apply?

If you successfully complete JDP, your charges may be downgraded or dismissed, or you could avoid incarceration.  You will be connected to a case worker who will help link you to services in an effort to address the causes of your behavior that led to criminal charges and prevent this from happening again.


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