PAD works to reduce arrest and incarceration of people experiencing extreme poverty, problematic substance use, or mental health concerns, and increase the accessibility of supportive services in Atlanta and Fulton County.
PAD fosters a new approach to community safety and wellness by providing an alternative to punishing people for what they do to survive. Instead, we connect with people as people, address their basic needs, and work with them to reduce harm to themselves and their neighbors. We believe communities are safer and healthier when people have what they need to not only survive, but to thrive.
PAD accepts community referrals through the City of Atlanta 311 non-emergency city services line for quality of life concerns. Community members can call 311 regarding issues of community concern related to behavioral health or poverty. Our Harm Reduction team responds to the referral request and offer individuals short-term care navigation, stabilizing supports, and warm referrals to other service providers.
Learn more here.
PAD accepts diversion referrals from Atlanta Police Department and MARTA police officers who have probable cause to arrest an individual and identify that there is a need related to substance use, mental health, or extreme poverty. When a person has been detained by police and would otherwise be booked at the Atlanta City Detention Center or Fulton County jail, the officer can instead offer diversion and call the PAD Harm Reduction team. If the person and PAD team agree to work together, the officer leaves the scene and does not create a police report.
The PAD Harm Reduction team immediately completes an intake and works with the diverted individual to address basic needs and talk about what led to the interaction with law enforcement. From there, the participant is connected to a PAD Care Navigator and our team starts collaborating with criminal legal partner agencies to address outstanding legal concerns if they exist.
Learn more here.