Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative Photo Credit: Atlanta Pride Committee [2022]

Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative

Community Organization

Pronouns: They / Them

PAD began from the vision and work of members of the Atlanta community who were directly impacted by policing and incarceration and were committed to creating a new approach to community safety and wellness. In 2013, (SNaPCO) Solutions Not Punishment Collaborative was formed by the leadership of queer and trans people of color, who rallied a broad coalition of community members to advance criminal justice reform and more effective approaches to public safety. In 2015, the Atlanta City Council and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed to authorize a Pre-Arrest Diversion Design Team, including representatives from local government, criminal justice agencies, neighborhood faith leaders, community members, and social services providers. For the next 18 months, team members worked to design the pilot diversion and care strategy following the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion model.

PAD launched in 2017, offering diversion services to the Atlanta Police Department. They also provided harm reduction case management, housing, transportation, food assistance, and supporting improvements in the quality of life for community members. Today, PAD utilizes a two-point strategy to divert individuals from the criminal justice system, including diversion for individuals detained by law enforcement and who are otherwise subject to arrest and non-emergency services for individuals referred by community members through the City of Atlanta's 311 line. As the first city to implement alternatives to dialing 911, PAD's partnership with the City of Atlanta's 311 line has emerged as a national model for dispatching community responders for concerns related to non-emergency services/p align="justify">

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