Harris County Joint Processing Center Diversion Desk
Providing jail diversion assessments for law enforcement officers
The Harris County Jail Diversion Desk is located in the Joint Processing Center and is staffed 24/7 with The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD personnel. The desk serves two functions:
The first function is to assess individuals brought to the Joint Processing Center who have been flagged as possibly meeting the criteria for jail diversion, e.g., they have committed a low-level, non-violent crime and it is believed mental illness and/or psychosocial issues were a factor in the commission of the crime. Jail Diversion Desk staff will conduct an assessment of the individual and will check to see if the person is in the Harris Center’s database. Jail Diversion Desk staff will tell the arresting officer/deputy if they believe the person is a candidate for diversion. The arresting officer/deputy will make the decision to pursue diversion based on this new information.
The second function of the desk is to answer calls from officers/deputies in the field asking for behavioral health information on individuals they are interacting with. This information helps the officers/deputies decide whether to divert directly from the field.