Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative

  • Georgia


236 Forsyth Street SW
Suite 200
United States

About Us

The Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion (PAD) initiative strives to reduce the number of people involved in the criminal justice system who are experiencing mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or extreme poverty. Pre-arrest diversion allows police officers to offer consent-based and individually-tailored social services instead of making an arrest. Officers initiate diversions, and are met at the scene of the offense by a PAD Care Navigation team who immediately begin working with a diverted participant.


We partner with the Atlanta Police Department to divert people subject to arrest in the neighborhoods of Downtown, Midtown and Old Fourth Ward. Our priority participants are...

  • Impacted by racial disparities in arrests
  • Multiple contacts with criminal legal system
  • Excluded from other services
  • Unmet mental health needs
  • Substance use disorders
  • Extreme poverty


We coordinate criminal justice agencies in order to divert individuals from the jail and court systems, and remove legal barriers to their success. Our partners include...

  • Atlanta Police Department
  • City of Atlanta Solicitor
  • City of Atlanta Public Defender
  • Fulton County District Attorney
  • Fulton County Public Defender
  • Fulton County Solicitor


We provide case management, linkage to care, and participant advocacy. We work to strengthen social services in the Metro Atlanta region by building capacity for evidence-based care. Our care navigation approach is rooted in...

  • Harm Reduction          
  • Trauma-informed
  • Housing First
  • Cultural Competency

Pre-arrest diversion is a strategy designed by people directly impacted by policing and incarceration, who built a broad grassroots coalition to champion criminal justice reform and propose more effective approaches to public safety. The two-year pilot initiative was developed in collaboration with criminal justice agencies, local governments, neighborhood and faith leaders, and social services providers. Since October 2017, PAD has partnered with the Atlanta Police Department to divert people subject to arrest in Downtown, Midtown and Old Fourth Ward. Our goal is to divert 150 participants in our first two years, eventually expanding to serve the entire city of Atlanta.