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Prosecutor-led Diversion: Best Strategies for Working With Persons With Substance Use Disorder

Prosecutors are in a unique position to disrupt the revolving door of persons with substance use disorders (SUDs) into and out of jails. They can create “exits” by intercepting those with SUDs and referring them to appropriate community treatment programs. Prosecutor-led diversion programs can reduce the burden on the justice system while providing high- and low- risk individuals with access to needed treatment and recovery supports.

This webinar will focus on sustainable diversion practices including the importance of using data, the target population for diversion, and program policies that prioritize treatment and recovery of participants. COSSUP sites engaged in pretrial or post-booking diversion will also present implementation strategies, successes, and challenges of their respective programs.


Ray Reiser has extensive experience in community corrections in Western Montana. He oversaw the pretrial services program in the Fourth Judicial District of Montana for many years. He has now moved into the pretrial diversion field. For the last 3years, Mr. Reiser has overseen the Missoula County, Montana, Attorney's Office’s Pretrial Diversion Program, known as Calibrate. He holds a Peace Officer’s Standards and Training certification from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. Mr. Reiser is accomplished in the specialized fields of GPS and alcohol monitoring systems. He has testified before the Montana Legislature on pretrial justice issues. After many years of working with justice-involved people, he still wrestles daily with how to reconcile the rights and wishes of the criminal defendant against the interests of public safety.

Caleb Kramer joined the Augusta County, Virginia, Commonwealth's Attorney's Office in January 2018 as an assistant commonwealth's attorney. Before joining the office, he served as a Magistrate in the city of Emporia and the counties of Greensville and Sussex, Virginia. During law school, Mr. Kramer worked for the United States Coast Guard in its Judge Advocate Genersl (JAG) department. As well as serving as a full-time prosecutor, Mr. Kramer heads up a first-in-Virginia precharge diversion program. This groundbreaking program seeks to increase the efficiency and quality of outcomes in the criminal justice system by diverting low-level, first-time offenders away from the traditional courts system and into treatment.

Jack Belcher is a behavioral health clinician with more than 40 years of experience working with individuals with chronic, serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. In 2005, he began working with co-occurring disorders as both a trainer and direct service provider. He also has extensive experience developing behavioral health programs throughout the United States for seniors, adults, and children and is experienced in group, family, and individual therapy modalities. He has conducted psychosocial rehabilitation workshops at state and national conferences and served as a consultant, operations director, program director, and administrator for numerous agencies and facilities. Mr. Belcher's career has crossed over into the judicial system as a family treatment court director, and he has served as a state foster care specialist, child protective services investigator, and adult protective services investigator in Virginia for a local department of social services agencies.


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