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California state legislation signed Assembly Bill 1810 on June 27, 2018 (Pen. Code, §§ 1001.35 & 1001.36).  This law created Mental Health Diversion (MHD), a diversion opportunity for defendants with mental disorders.

Penal Code (PC) section 1001.36 creates a discretionary pretrial diversion procedure for defendants charged with misdemeanors or felonies who suffer from mental disorders listed in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the symptoms of which can respond to treatment, if the mental disorder played a significant part in the commission of the charged offense.

Under this diversion program a defendant is required to attend a mental health program and will be required to follow a specific list of requirements and instructions. Violating any of those terms, or otherwise failing to complete the mental health program, will result in an unsuccessful diversion and criminal proceedings may resume.

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Policies and Procedures

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