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Fulton County Diversion and Deflection Recovery Program (FDR)

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,599,999)

Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health and Disabilities (DBHDD)
in partnership with Atlanta Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiative (PAD) propose the
Fulton County Diversion and Deflection Recovery Program (FDR) to respond to substance use,
promote public safety, and support access to SUD treatment and recovery services for
individuals in Fulton County, GA. Annually, DBHDD provides services for over 2,600 people
with mental health issues and SUD/COD at five sites throughout Fulton County. Services include
screening, assessment, specialty outpatient treatment, and individual and group therapy provided
through contracts with community-based providers. This FDR proposal builds upon the
successes of DBHDD’s FY20 COSSAP to expand to Fulton County’s most underserved areas
and increase deflection and diversion across the county. Fulton County is the largest county in
Georgia and has experienced a drastic increase in arrests of people with SUD for low-level
offenses, delaying or denying vital treatment while also overcrowding jails and the court. In
2021, the City of Atlanta and Fulton County partnered to establish The Center for Diversion &
Services (The Center) to provide an alternative to placing people in jail or in the detention center
who suffer from behavioral health issues. The proposed FDR program will: (i) provide training
to new law enforcement officers and ongoing quarterly professional development for existing
officers to promote diversion to The Center, expanding to several precincts within Fulton
County; (ii) provide intensive care navigation for at least 425 diverted participants and increased access to recovery housing for those in need; (iii) provide evidence-based mobile behavioral health services to diverted individuals in recovery housing; and (iv) conduct deflection outreach to targeted areas of high crime and high usage in North and South Fulton to connect individuals
with needed SUD services before they reach involvement with the criminal justice system. The
program’s expected outcomes are to increase diversion to The Center year-over-year, reduce
recidivism in Fulton County, and increase access to evidence-based behavioral health treatments
to individuals in recovery housing. Beneficiaries of this program include individuals with SUD,
local law enforcement agencies, and all Fulton County residents. DBHDD serves as the lead
applicant and PAD will be a subrecipient, if awarded. FDR will implement the following
allowable activities: Law enforcement deflection and diversion; Naloxone for first responders;
Pre-booking and post-booking treatment alternative-to-incarceration programs; Evidence-based
SUD treatments and harm reduction activities; Recovery housing and peer support; Embedding
peers; and Field initiated projects.

Date Created: September 25, 2023