U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dallas County Criminal Justice Pretrial Diversion Assessment Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,432,499)

The Dallas County Criminal Justice Department is seeking $1,432,499.00
over 3 years to support and expand its Pretrial Diversion Assessment Program (PTDAP). The
funding request is to hire 3 full-time program clinicians to complete pretrial diversion evidenced based assessments, 1 full-time program coordinator to support the program, and funding for
program evaluation and research. Dallas County is applying for Category 1a: Urban Areas, of the
BJA COSSUP Grant (O-BJA-2023-171527). The grant will expand access to treatment and
recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders in the criminal justice
system, specifically first-time felony offenders charged with a low-level, non-violent offense.
Dallas County’s PTDAP started in July 2021 and needs continued and expanded funding to
support the growing program and to continue operation. The project will complete evidencebased
risk-need-responsivity assessments on pretrial defendants by a program clinician. This will
provide individualized recommendations for the appropriate pretrial diversion program,
treatment, and recovery support services. When the defendant successfully completes his/her
pretrial diversion program, his/her case is dismissed and expunged, preventing a felony
conviction. The PTDAP will serve any eligible defendant within Dallas County, an urban county
with a population of approximately 2.6 million. It is estimated that around 600 defendants a year
in Dallas County would qualify for the PTDAP. The primary activities of the PTDAP are to
provide a post-booking treatment alternative-to-incarceration program, pretrial diversion
program; to enable court programming to prioritize and expedite treatment and recovery services
for individuals at high-risk of overdose and substance use disorder; and to increase access to
evidenced-based treatment. The project goal is to expand and expedite pretrial diversion for firsttime felony offenders with eligible offenses, by leveraging a streamlined process and evidence
based assessments to determine the individual’s needs for treatment, recovery support, resources, and appropriate diversion programs, reducing the number of defendants sent to prison, state jail, or released on probation and resulting in a conviction. The project’s objectives will include increasing referrals and assessments to racial minority groups and underserved communities to advance racial equity, reduce time to expedite the pretrial diversion process, and expand access to needed evidence-based substance use treatment and recovery support. This includes utilizing the assessments to screen defendants for needed for cognitive-behavioral treatment, Mediation Assisted Treatment (MAT), and other treatment and support to address those who have significant substance use history and are at higher risk of overdose.

Date Created: September 25, 2023