The DSH Permanent Mental Health Diversion and Community-Based Restoration (CBR) programs are structured to serve individuals who are deemed Incompetent to Stand Trial (IST), have specific felony charges, and diagnoses, and are on the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) wait list. The allowance of “at risk” for IST or “likely to be IST” that was included in the pilot program has been removed as the statute has been amended. In order to participate, a county must have a contract with DSH for one or more programs (Diversion or CBR) and serve individuals who have been deemed IST on a felony charge and been court-ordered into the program.

To be considered for the Diversion Program, defendants must meet eligibility requirements pursuant to Penal Code (PC) §1001.36, PC §1370, and Welfare and Institutions (WIC) Code §4361. The goal of the program is long-term, community mental health treatment, engagement, and connection to services. Participants ordered into a Pre-trial DSH Diversion Program must be facing a current felony charge and be found IST, or potentially be found IST on that charge, and ordered into the program by a judge.

In addition, participants:

▪ Must have a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar I disorder.

▪ Must have a significant relationship between the serious mental illness symptoms or conditions of homelessness and the charged offense.

▪ Must not pose an unreasonable risk to public safety if treated in the community.


PC §1001.36 excludes individuals charged with specific crimes from participating in any diversion program.

CBR programs are similar to diversion programs, however, the goal of a CBR program is to restore a person’s ability to assist counsel, understand charges, and return to court. The statute that governs CBR programs is PC §1370.