County Diversion Center aims to address mental health of criminal offenders opens in Cleveland

County Diversion Center aims to address mental health of criminal offenders opens in Cleveland

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The all new Cuyahoga County Diversion Center opened Tuesday on Cleveland’s East Side, clearing the way for the county to keep low-level offenders out of jail while focusing on their mental health.

Several local civic and religious leaders celebrated the facility’s opening at 1804 East 55th Street.

In a news release, the county called it a “transformative” facility.

“The Cuyahoga County Diversion Center provides an alternative to incarceration for people living with mental illness and/or substance misuse who have an interaction with law enforcement following a low-level, non-violent offense,” the release said. “This option provides treatment instead of jail and is a resource for law enforcement officers and the individuals they serve.”

The Diversion Center offers:

• Beds for 50 individuals, staffed 24/7 by clinical and behavioral health professionals

• Withdrawal management services (detox)

• Mental health and substance use assessments

• Psychiatric evaluation and medication management

• Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

• Individual and group counseling

• Peer support services

• Case management

• Help enrolling in benefit programs such as Social Security Disability and Medicaid

• Coordination and linking to community services after onsite care

“This is an exciting day for Cuyahoga County,” said County Executive Armond Budish. “The Diversion Center has been a top priority of my administration because it will transform the justice system in Cuyahoga County and enhance the well-being of those in our community. Half of our jail population suffers from mental illness or co- occurring mental health and substance use disorders, and often they should not be locked up.”

The first patient at the facility was admitted on Monday.

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