Alternatives Pre/Post Arrest Diversion Program

An arrest diversion program in Story County for people with substance use disorders

Alternatives Mission

The MISSION of the Alternatives Arrest Diversion Program is to enhance public safety and benefit our community through a collaborative effort to offer services to individuals who struggle with substance use disorders(SUD) with or without serious mental illness(SMI) and who either are at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system, or have low-level, non-violent misdemeanor charges.  We strive to create positive long-term change in these individuals by improving their quality of life, and reducing involvement with the criminal justice system, while decreasing crime in our community and controlling the high costs of untreated SUD/SMI. 

Alternatives Plan

Story County will offer three phases of arrest diversion, In order to qualify for the program individuals must have a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and be a risk for involvement with the criminal justice system, or already be involved with the criminal justice system.  

  • Pre-Arrest Diversion - This is aimed at individuals who are at risk of Justice System involvement because of their substance use. Individuals may be referred by law enforcement, community partners, or through self-referral.  

  • Pre-arrest Law Enforcement Diversion - This is for those individuals who have a SUD and who, if not diverted, would otherwise be charged with a non-violent, simple misdemeanor. 

    Law enforcement may divert to Alternatives in lieu of arrest. Participation is voluntary. If diverted to Alternatives no charges are filed.   

  • Post-Arrest Prosecutor Diversion - This is for individuals who were not diverted by law enforcement, or declined diversion when offered by law enforcement. The prosecutor may, after review of the case information and in consultation with the defense attorney (if applicable), decide it is in the best interest of justice to offer diversion. Participation is voluntary. If diverted to Alternatives the participant is expected to achieve the initial participation goals before these charges would be dismissed. 

To make a referral

Please contact:

 Shelby Gibson

Program Coordinator


126 S. Kellogg, Suite 203

Ames, Iowa 50010