Special Offenders Unit
Mental Health Diversion Program
The Ocean County Prosecutors Office Mental Health Diversion Program (hereinafter referred to as the MHDP) began September 11, 2014. This diversionary program for justice-involved individuals suffering from serious and persistent mental illness was originally funded through a grant from the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New Jersey. Utilizing the teamwork of skilled clinicians and case managers, the MHDP ensures that defendants are receiving the treatment that they need in order to lead productive lives outside of the criminal justice system. Clinical and case management services are obtained through Ocean Mental Health Services and Preferred Behavioral Health. The Diversion Team, which consists of the members of our Unit and the providers, meets once a month to review all of our current and pending applicants. The Team is also in constant communication, receiving weekly updates on all applicants. The mission of the MHDP is to reduce recidivism and to ensure public safety when it comes to defendants with underlying mental health concerns. Defendants who successfully complete recommended treatment modules receive a downgrade or dismissal of their charges. After individuals complete the program they are followed for a year to monitor for recidivism.