Diversion and Reentry Support
District Attorney Vance’s CJII is focused on increasing diversion and improving service delivery options for individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system. These efforts may occur at various points in the system, from arrest through diversion or incarceration and reentry, but the goal of these efforts is the same: provide appropriate support tailored to the needs of individuals to reduce their future involvement in the criminal justice system, better connect them to the services they need, and increase their likelihood of success in the community.
Efforts in this area will have a tailored focus on the unique needs of young adults and adults who frequently cycle through the criminal justice system. While young adults represent the riskiest group involved in the justice system in terms of prevalence and severity of crime, imprisonment, and recidivism, they also have the greatest potential for positive change with appropriate intervention given that the human brain continues to develop into the early-mid 20s. Adults who frequently cycle through the criminal justice system tend to be at low risk for violence and have complex behavioral health issues that would be better addressed through more effective service engagement and delivery.
CJII will collaborate with city and state agencies as well as providers that are working with individuals involved in the justice system to develop and support an evidence-based strategy for individuals involved in the criminal justice system. These efforts emphasize:
- Expanding opportunities for diversion, redirecting people alleged of low-level, nonviolent offenses from arrest or prosecution to other responses in the community that can more effectively address the issues that underlie criminal behavior, provide proportionate sanctions, and avoid the high costs and inefficiencies of court processing, incarceration, and their accompanying lifelong collateral consequences
- Strengthening alternatives to detention and incarceration that are responsive to the needs of young adults, women, and individuals who frequently cycle through the system; reducing the use of incarceration; and improving outcomes while ensuring safety in the community
- Investing in initiatives in New York jails and prisons—for example, providing opportunities for higher education in New York State prisons—to support successful reentry
- Ensuring necessary reentry support—including employment, treatment, and education—to support successful reentry and reduce further contact with the criminal justice system
Alongside these efforts to support diversion and reentry options, CJII is focusing on enhancing efforts that cut across systems to improve public safety. These efforts include
- Creating a network of community navigators to connect individuals to the resources and services they need and to increase coordination among city agencies and community-based service providers.
- Developing meaningful career pathways to create opportunities for at-risk and high-need groups, including individuals who have been formerly incarcerated.
- Acknowledging and addressing the effects of trauma to identify effective approaches to treating trauma in underserved groups.