The mayor’s administration has plans to begin sending “low-level’’ lawbreakers—such as drug offenders and prostitutes—into a diversion program instead of jail, reported the New York Post.
The diversion program, modeled after the successful one used in Seattle, will provide treatment and counseling as an alternative to being arrested and charged. The program also will get enrollees signed up for needed services to help them get their lives back on track.
“For some of these individuals, incarceration could be avoided altogether, which would result in significant savings of public resources,” said a spokesperson for the city’s Health Department.
The program would possibly reduce recidivism rates for low-level offenders and redirect limited law-enforcement resources to more serious or violent offenders. The first center is planned to open in Harlem.