The Jail Diversion Cost Simulation Model

The Jail Diversion Cost Simulation Model developed by HSRI is a computerized simulation that projects the effectiveness, costs, and potential cost savings of implementing jail or prison diversion programs for offenders with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. Using information about the people you plan to divert and the services you have available, the model helps your stakeholder group consider what services to provide, what they will cost, and what you can save.

For each jail diversion strategy being considered, the model will produce estimates of consumer benefits, community outcomes, and mental health and criminal justice system costs that, in turn, reveal the fiscal implications of implementing a particular strategy. You can see the impact of different service packages and of choosing different groups to divert. Further, the model predicts individual-level savings by allowing you to compare the costs of a group of people who are diverted to a similar group who are not diverted. It also figures current and future public-level savings that help you determine whether you can close or reduce staff at institutions or avoid building additional facilities.

In collaboration with the TAPA Center for Jail Diversion (SAMHSA funded program) HSRI implemented the model in Chester County, PA and Travis County, TX. Results from the model were used to develop detailed jail diversion implementation plans and budgets.