Racialized populations and mental Health court diversion background paper

Racialized Populations and Mental Health Court Diversion Background Paper

Starting in 2017, the Racialized Populations and Mental Health and Addictions COI shifted to focus on criminal court diversion programs and practices, and examined how racialized populations were being served. This involved focusing on formal mental health diversion programs as well as informal diversion practices for racialized persons with mental health and addictions issues in the criminal justice system.

The CoI’s current objectives include:

  • Increasing understanding of how diversion is generally applied, specifically to racialized populations. Currently there is anecdotal information indicating that racialized populations may not be offered mental health diversion as often as other populations. More evidence is needed to understand how equity is applied to racialized populations in this context.
  • Raising awareness about the need for standardization of race-based data collection throughout the criminal justice system, in order for issues of equity to be properly addressed through evidence-based policies and practices. 
  • Contributing to existing strategies to improve the overall wellbeing of racialized populations moving through the criminal justice system.
  • Examining perceptions of race in the justice system and how those perceptions impact the outcomes, as well as what is needed to effectively address systemic racial inequities.


This background paper highlights the current issue; what the literature says; highlights from the CoI’s focus groups and next steps. Click here to read the paper.

Please also register to join the CoI's Think Tank on Racialized Populations and Mental Health Court Diversion Think Tank, taking place January 7, 2019. For more information and to register, click here.

For more information on the CoI and our past activities, visit: http://www.eenet.ca/node/1263#about.