Diversion First

Diversion, Not Jail

Diversion First is a continuum of services, which offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness, co-occurring substance use disorders and/or developmental disabilities, who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low level offenses.

Diversion First logoDiversion First is a more efficient use of public resources designed to:

  • Prevent repeat encounters with the criminal justice system.
  • Improve public safety.
  • Promote a healthier community.

The goal is to intervene whenever possible to provide assessment, treatment or needed supports. 

Do you need help for yourself or someone you know with a mental health issue or substance use disorder?

The following services are available 24/7, every day of the year, including holidays:

Call: 9-1-1

Text: 9-1-1
Request a CIT-trained officer to respond.

Regional Crisis Call Center and Textline
Call: 9-8-8 or 703-527-4077 | TTY: 711
Text: "CONNECT" to 855-11


CSB Emergency Services
Call: 703-573-5679 | TTY: 711

Fairfax Detoxification Center
Call: 703-502-7000 | TTY: 703-322-9080

For non-emergencies: Call the CSB Entry & Referral Services at 703-383-8500 or come directly to the Sharon Bulova Center for Community Health.

Data and Resources

Our resources include presentations, reports, videos and more to help you better understand the benefits of diversion.

Diversion First was launched following recommendations from the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission and Board of Supervisors adoption of a resolution to decriminalize mental illness by supporting the national Stepping Up initiative.

Need more information or want to schedule a presentation? Reach out!

Director of Diversion Initiatives
703-324-7088 | TTY 711

Diversion First Partners

Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board  Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court Fairfax-Falls Church Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness

Fairfax  County Court ServicesFairfax County Department of Fire and RescueFairfax County PoliceFairfax County Department of Public Safety CommunicationsFairfax Sheriff's Office 

Fairfax Virtual Assistant