In 2009, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) received a Veteran’s Jail Diversion and Trauma Recovery grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to develop local infrastructure to divert individuals with mental health and/or substance use issues from the criminal justice system.

DSHS will pilot a jail diversion and trauma recovery program that prioritizes veterans in Bexar County. The County has a full range of diversion strategies already in place and will determine the optimum intercept point along the continuum from arrest to specialized courts. The pilot program will use the Seeking Safety model of trauma treatment and estimates diverting and treating 180 persons per year. If successful, two additional pilot sites, Harris and Nueces Counties, will be next in line to implement trauma focused diversion programs.

Dr. Stacey Manser Stevens and her team at the School of Social Work’s Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health serve as lead evaluators, ensuring appropriate data collection and reporting to the federal cross-site evaluators as well as conducting local level evaluations. For more information, visit: //