The Essex County Drug Diversion Program is a pre-arraignment and post-arraignment program for non-violent offenders with substance abuse issues, primarily between the ages of 17-26, who are charged with drug related offenses. This program seeks to reduce drug abuse and improve public safety by offering treatment.  This program is currently operating in all 8 District Courts in Essex County.  

The program provides candidates the opportunity to receive comprehensive substance abuse treatment services in lieu of being prosecuted through the traditional court process.

The clinical evaluations and treatment plans are administered by Project Cope. Treatment includes appropriate inpatient and outpatient services, and support designed to help young adults become drug-free functioning members of society. Although insurance will be used to pay for some of the services, no one is denied services based on an inability to pay. If a participant fails to complete all treatment components, they will be prosecuted.

Young people identified by the District Attorney’s Office as eligible to enter the Essex County Drug Diversion Program will:

  • obtain a clinical evaluation followed by immediate access to treatment.
  • receive intensive treatment planning and treatment options, based on the clinical evaluation.
  • be subject to strong case management and follow up.