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Diversion and Reentry Services (DRS) coordinates programs to help people with behavioral health issues avoid jail and hospital visits. Some programs also help those who have been hospitalized or incarcerated to transition back into the community to develop fulfilling lives. Individuals with behavioral health issues who are also experiencing homelessness may wind up in jail because of these very issues, and DRS programs are intended to help connect them to social services instead of cycling through jail and hospitals – a costly approach that doesn’t help people sustain change and live productive lives.

For more information

Contact Dave Murphy, Diversion and Reentry Services Section Manager, (206) 263-8954 or


The vision of the Diversion and Reentry Services section is to empower community members to transform and create the meaning and the realization of justice in order to achieve equity and self-determination for those impacted by the collateral consequences of criminal justice and crisis systems involvement.


Diversion and Reentry Services endeavors to develop and administer programs and initiatives in King County that are supportive of, and informed by, individuals with behavioral health conditions encountering the criminal justice and crisis systems. We will respond to the needs of the whole person, support individuals remaining in the community through access to services and resources, promote recovery, and reduce episodes of incarceration and hospitalization.

National Context Information on Diversion and Reentry

To learn more about jail diversion for individuals with mental health and/or co-occurring substance use disorders, please see the SAMHSA Co-Occurring Disorders in criminal justice settings, and visit the National GAINS Center.  See also the Council for State Governments Consensus Project, the National Reentry Resource Center, and the Washington National Reentry Resource Center.


King County implemented a range of jail reentry programs and services in 2003 and 2004 to help people in the criminal justice system with unmet mental health or substance abuse needs connect to treatment services, stable housing, and other supports as alternatives to incarceration.  Initially, this effort, called the King County Criminal Justice Initiatives (CJI), was born out of the Adult Justice Operational Master Plan and was focused primarily on serving individuals coming into the adult specialty courts in King County, with some limited discharge planning services in the King County Jail .

These services were expanded in 2005 when State of Washington funds via House Bill 1290, called Jail Transition Services, were appropriated to Counties to serve a jail reentry function.  The CJI was expanded to serve all municipal jails in King County as well as expand reentry services in the King County Jail. In  2007, programs were further expanded via the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy (VHSL) funding the Forensic Intensive Supportive Housing (FISH) program and part of the Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT).  The King County FACT program was terminated in 2015 and replaced with a new model focused on serving individuals who cycle through our jails implemented under the Familiar Faces Initiative.  When the Veterans and Human Services Levy was renewed in 2012, the Veterans Justice Initiative (VJI) was created to oversee programs serving Veterans who are involved in the local criminal justice system, to work with the Federal Veterans Justice Initiatives and to work closely with our local Veterans Courts.


Beginning in 2014, the Mental Illness and Drug Dependency (MIDD) Action Plan was passed in late 2008 (local 0.1% sales tax levy), CJI programs were expanded to serve more specialty court participants, jail release planning, and bring pre-jail booking options into King County via the Crisis Solutions Center.

Beginning 2014, BHRD created the Diversion and Reentry Services Section, which combines pre-arrest / pre-jail booking diversion, post-booking reentry (formerly the Criminal Justice Initiatives and Veterans Justice Initiative) and our populations encountering the forensic systems locally and at Western State Hospital via the forensic commitment laws (RCW 10.77, HB 1114, and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) statutes).  In late 2016, our jail diversion work expanded with the passage of the MIDD 2 Service Improvement Plan, providing King County BHRD funding to our local Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program and expanding of our crisis diversion work to other parts of the County (specifically, establishing a crisis diversion facility in the South King County region).

Equity and Social Justice is a key component and guiding principle of the administration, service delivery and systems coordination/transformation framework of the Diversion and Reentry Services section.  We are working on using equity tools in all of our processes including Request for Proposals and new program development, current contracting, systems integration, systems coordination and workforce development.

Evaluation Reports Available to Download

Most recent

Impact of DCHS-Supported Programs on Jail Use Report - April 2013

FACT Evaluation Report and Executive Summary - October 2012

Connector Program Update - April 2012

Forensic Intensive Supported Housing Program (FISH) Evaluation Report - March 2012

4th Year Evaluation Report - December 2009 

CCAP 2 yr outcomes for SMH 2007-8 cohort

CCAP IOP and CCD Report

Connector Program Report

The program evaluation reports describe each of the service programs created through the DRS; the jail and clinical outcomes for each program; and client, staff and stakeholder views across programs and for the DRS as a whole. The reports also provide recommendations for the future.

For more information on the DRS Evaluation contact Debra Srebnik.

National Context Information on Diversion and Reentry


Corporation for Supportive Housing model for systems transformation efforts from their FUSE model. Visit the FUSE resource center:

The national focus on diverting individuals from entering into our jails, as well as supporting those who do through successful reentry, is robust. The Data Driven Justice Initiative, implemented under the Obama Administration, has a diversion-focused playbook resource tool available.  The National Stepping Up Initiative offers evidence-based approaches to jail reentry and is focused on a national movement to reduce the number of individuals with behavioral health conditions in our local jails.  King County is a member of both the Data Driven Justice and the National Stepping Up communities of counties across the United States.

To learn more about jail diversion for individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorders, please see the SAMHSA Co-Occurring Disorders in criminal justice settings, and visit the National GAINS Center.  See also the Council for State Governments Consensus Project, the National Reentry Resource Center, and the Washington National Reentry Resource Center.

Please visit the Prison Policy Initiative for state by state data and resources focused on mass incarceration and understanding why states and counties should push against jail growth.


Prison Policy Initiative at has national and state-level data for all United States visually demonstrating incarceration and recidivism statistics.

pioneer-human-servicesOne of several Pioneer Human Services reentry interim housing buildings used by several DRS programs to support individuals transitioning from jail.

emergency-services-centerDowntown Emergency Services Center Crisis Solutions Center

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0583