Pathways to Community Prefiling Diversion Program (2022)

Video Edition Updated

Coconino County Attorney’s Office (Flagstaff, AZ)

Population: 142,254 | Number of Full-Time Prosecutors: 15 | Contact Information

The Coconino County Attorney’s Office (CCA) has developed a prefiling diversion program that connects arrestees to a variety of health and social service programs before the decision to file charges is made by the CCA. After an initial health screening and court appearance, a judge determines eligibility and qualified participants are released to a local facility where they can access substance abuse, mental health, and social services from a variety of government and community providers. Once programming is underway, the CCA evaluates participation to determine if charges will be filed or dismissed.

In order to reduce recidivism and decrease costs incurred by incarceration, the CCA has partnered with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department, Court, Public Defender’s Office, and Health and Human Services, along with several community based groups to develop a comprehensive pre-filing diversion program for eligible offenders.  Once accepted into the program, arrestees are released from custody and taken to a facility where a network of government services and community providers work with the individuals to make sure addiction, mental and physical health, housing, transportation, and other needs are met before release to the community.  The services address issues that commonly lead to re-offense.  By creating a one-stop shop for these important services prior to release back to the community, this collaborative project aims to reduce recidivism and criminal convictions.  The project is funded through local sales taxes designated for jail spending and a special grant from the State of Arizona.