Criminal Justice Resource Department
The mission of the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD) is to safely reduce unnecessary pretrial incarceration, increase jail alternatives and diversion opportunities, reduce the number of individuals with behavioral health issues facing justice involvement and incarceration, reduce recidivism, reduce racial and economic disparities, and increase public safety by providing treatment and support for individuals involved in Orange County’s criminal legal system.
The Criminal Justice Resource Department administers a number of different programs that seek to further this mission. See a summary below and follow the links or the left-hand side bar for details on each program.
The CJRD helps administer two programs to assist justice involved Orange County residents. The transportation fund is supported by the Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Project and will assist in funding transportation to and from court. The Criminal Justice Debt Program, started by the Chapel Hill Town Council and administered at the Chapel Hill Police Department Crisis Unit, assists in paying court fees and costs and DMV fees for eligible residents. Follow this link for more information about each of these funds including eligibility and information on how to apply.
The Pretrial Services Program can minimize unnecessary detention by assessing and supervising individuals who are likely to appear for future court dates and do not pose a risk to the community as they await trial. This results in reduced jail costs for the County and more efficient use of the limited space within its detention facility. In addition, individuals who are released from custody are able to maintain employment, access treatment, maintain stable housing, aid in their own defense, assert their innocence, and mitigate the severity of any active prison term that may be imposed at sentencing.
Restoration Legal Counsel provides pro bono legal assistance to individuals facing barriers due to a criminal record and/or driver's license suspension. The Legal Restoration Counsel works in collaboration with court and community stakeholders to provide restorative legal services to low-income, justice-involved individuals. This pro bono legal assistance to qualified individuals includes driver’s license restoration work, expunctions, criminal justice debt relief and certificates of relief.
The CJRD administers two distinct, therapeutic programs for court-involved adults diagnosed with substance use disorders. Recovery Court is a diversionary court for individuals who are facing significant terms of incarceration. Participants are referred to the program by judges, defense attorneys, and probation officers. Successful participants will avoid incarceration and reduce their likelihood of recidivism. Family Treatment Court is a collaborative effort between the court system and the Department of Social Services (DSS). It is for parents who have a case pending with DSS regarding abuse, neglect, or dependency. Successful participants enhance their parenting skills and improve the chances of having their parental rights restored. The core components of both programs are formalized substance use treatment, random drug testing, frequent court appearances, peer support and monitoring by a multidisciplinary team.
The CRJD has two mental health and substance use professionals that work directly with individuals in custody or at risk of incarceration, the Clinical Coordinator and the Youth Behavioral Health Liaison.
The Clinical Coordinator works directly with individuals incarcerated in the Orange County Detention Center who have mental health and substance use concerns. A primary goal of this position is to increase opportunities for pretrial release and connection to community resources.
The Youth Behavioral Health Liaison provides clinical services to youth ages 18 and under who are incarcerated, in detention, or at high risk in the criminal and juvenile justice systems with the goal of developing an appropriate treatment plan to support youth in returning to or remaining in the community.
The Street Outreach, Harm Reduction and Deflection (SOHRAD) program connects people experiencing homelessness in Orange County with housing and services. Peer support and clinical staff use a relationship-based model to provide ongoing engagement and case management for people living unsheltered.
The Local Reentry Council works with formerly incarcerated people to reduce barriers to reentry by providing case management, connecting people to services in the community, providing direct funding for needs, and building a network of individuals, agencies, and advocates within the local community that provide support and coordination of innovative responses to the reintegration of the formerly incarcerated.
The Justice Advisory Council is a group of senior county stakeholders that includes participants from the court system, the sheriff and police departments, social services, the school districts, county commissioners, and more. The Justice Advisory Council meets quarterly to address justice issues and priorities.
The Criminal Justice Resource Department collects and provides data and information to the County Manager, justice stakeholders, and the community in order to support, enhance, and recommend changes to jail alternatives programming and court system needs.
The goal of diversion is to increase community safety and well-being by deflecting individuals from the criminal legal system and offering earlier and direct access to necessary interventions. The CRJD administers 3 different diversion programs that work with 3 different groups of people. The Orange County Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion program (OC-PAD) works with adult first offenders ages 18 and up in certain low-level misdemeanors. The Youth Deflection Program (YDP) works with youth ages 17 and under. The Lantern Project Diversion component works with adults with a behavioral health diagnosis, history of substance use, and frequently prior justice involvement. Lastly, the Mental Health Diversion (CCDSR team) works with individuals who have sever or persistent mental health needs who've also been justice involved.
Successful participants in diversion programs earn the benefit of not having a charge or a criminal conviction, which have collateral consequences for employment, housing, legal residency status, and eligibility for public benefits and licensing.
The Lantern Project is a partnership between Orange County CJRD and Freedom House and works to support justice involved people with substance use disorders by connecting them to treatment support as soon as possible and remaining with them through their journey by providing a recovery navigator, counseling, and peer support. The Lantern Project has two paths – the diversion path works with people who have been arrested or are about to be arrested and the re-entry path works with people who are currently incarcerated and working towards reentry.
The Mental Health Diversion Collaboration is funded by a grant from NC DHHS. The program is a collaboration between the CJRD, the Carrboro Police Department, the Chapel Hill Police Department, the Hillsborough Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Freedom House Recovery Center. It is an effort to reduce the number of individuals with serious mental illness entering the criminal legal system by diverting them to appropriate community behavioral health providers and support services. The team that assists individuals referred—the Community Care and Diversion Response (CCDR) team—consists of a Mental Health Diversion Coordinator, a Freedom House Clinician, a Freedom House Peer Support Specialist, and social workers embedded in the four law enforcement agencies. Individuals may be referred to the CCDR team from the community, from law enforcement in lieu of an arrest, and post-charge from court.
The Criminal Justice Resource Department (CJRD) opened in November 2015 as a division of the County Manager's Office. On July 1, 2017, it became a department in Orange County Government. The department oversees and supports jail alternatives programming in Orange County.
- What types of programs are available through the CJRD?
The Local Reentry Council (LRC) works with formerly incarcerated people to reduce barriers to reentry by providing case management services, connecting people to services in the community, and building a network of individuals, agencies, and advocates within the local community that provide support and coordination of innovative responses to the reintegration of the formerly incarcerated.
The Policing and Mental Health Diversion Collaboration is funded by a grant from NC DHHS. The program is a collaboration between the CJRD, the Carrboro Police Department, the Chapel Hill Police Department, the Hillsborough Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Freedom House Recovery Center. It is an effort to reduce the number of individuals with serious mental illness entering the criminal legal system by diverting them to appropriate community behavioral health providers and support services. The team that assists individuals referred—the Community Care and Diversion Response (CCDR) team—consists of a Mental Health Diversion Coordinator, a Freedom House Clinician, a Freedom House Peer Support Specialist, and social workers embedded in the four law enforcement agencies. Individuals may be referred to the CCDR team from the community, from law enforcement in lieu of an arrest, and post-charge from court.
The purpose of the Orange County Pre-Arrest Diversion (OC-PAD) program is to provide law enforcement officers discretion to divert individuals who commit eligible misdemeanor offenses away from the criminal legal system to resources and programing that educates, addresses therapeutic needs and reduces the harm of court involvement and the collateral consequences of having a public criminal record.
Pretrial Services seeks to minimize unnecessary detention by supervising people who are likely to appear for future court dates and do not pose a serious risk to the community. This work results in reduced rates of incarceration, less disparities based on an individual’s race or financial resources, and reduced costs for the County. Most significantly, individuals who remain in the community pretrial are able to maintain employment, remain with family, access treatment, maintain stable housing, aid in their own defense, assert their innocence, and mitigate the severity of any active prison term that may be imposed at sentencing.
The Street Outreach, Harm Reduction and Deflection (SOHRAD) program connects people experiencing homelessness in Orange County with housing and services and deflects them from law enforcement, where appropriate. Peer support and clinical staff use a relationship-based model to provide ongoing engagement and case management for people living unsheltered.
The Restoration Legal Counsel program assists justice-impacted individuals who are unable to pay for court fines and fees or who are otherwise disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system. The program aims to help reduce barriers to employment, housing, continued education, licensing, etc. faced by those with unpaid fines, costs and fees and/or criminal records. The pro bono legal services also include driver’s license restoration and criminal record expunctions.
The Lantern Project provides behavioral health services, up-to-date education and information about substance use treatment resources, and education about harm reduction measures taking place throughout Orange County.
The goal of the Lantern Project is to provide increased access to care and support to people with a history of substance use who are involved in the criminal legal system in Orange County through diversion coordination and reentry navigation. Harm Reduction practices, reentry support, and deflection/diversion improve community relations with law enforcement reduce racial disparities in the criminal legal system and improve public health outcomes.
Family Treatment Court is a collaborative effort between the court system and the Department of Social Services (DSS), and is for parents who have a case pending with DSS regarding abuse, neglect, or dependency. Participants are referred to the program by DSS Social Workers and through Child Planning Conferences. They are monitored by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a judge, defense attorney, DSS attorney, treatment provider, guardian ad litem, DSS social worker, court coordinator and court case manager. Successful participants enhance their parenting skills and improve the chances of having their parental rights restored.
Recovery Court is a diversionary court for high-risk individuals who are facing significant terms of incarceration. Participants are referred to the program by judges, defense attorneys, and probation officers. The monitoring team consists of a judge, defense attorney, prosecutor, treatment provider, probation officer, and court coordinator. Successful participants avoid incarceration and reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
The purpose of the Youth Deflection Program is to reduce the harm of court involvement for Orange County youth who commit low level, non-violent offenses and who, in the discretion of law enforcement, could be better served with immediate community interventions than in the juvenile court system.
- What do I do if someone I know has been arrested and incarcerated?
- What if I need help with court transportation?
These are the options for transportation in Orange County. Visit the links for more information.
Orange County Transportation:
Mobility on Demand: OC Transit Website
If you need funding assistance with court transportation, please go to this link or contact the CJRD at (919) 245-2310.
- How do I contact a law enforcement agency?
Orange County Sheriff’s Office
Address: 106 E. Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, NC 27278
Office Hours Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.
Extended hours on Wednesday 8am to 7pm.
Telephone: (919) 245-2900
Detention Center: (919) 245-2940
Fax: (919) 732-6403
Chapel Hill Police Department
Address: 828 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Carrboro Police Department
Address: 100 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro, NC 27510
Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Hillsborough Police Department
Address: 127 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC 27278
Hours: Monday – Friday | 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
UNC Police Department
Public Safety Building
285 Manning Drive
Campus Box #1600
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Can I find a court calendar online?
Yes. Visit Criminal Calendars for Orange County.
- How do I find Orange County Court Contacts?
- What if I am not able to make it to court?
You should come to court if at all possible. If you have a conflict or problem with your court date, contact your lawyer if you have one.
You may contact the Public Defender office:
Orange County Office
115 E King St
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Fax (919) 643-4401
Nat Boyden, Orange County
You may also contact the Clerk of Court at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (919) 644-4500.
- What if I missed court?
Pretrial Services assists the Clerk of Superior Court in weekly hearings with individuals seeking Strike Orders for failures to appear in court. These hearings are held every Thursday at 9 a.m. in Hillsborough. Individuals seeking a Strike Order must report to the Office of the Clerk of Court between 8:30 and 9 a.m. on Thursday.
- How do I sign up for the court date reminders?
Follow this link to sign up for court date reminders. You will need to have your file/case number. If you don’t have your file number, please contact the Clerk of Courts at email@example.com or (919) 644-4500.
- How do I find out who has been appointed to represent me?
You may contact or visit the Orange County Public Defender office or the clerk of court:
Orange County Office
115 E King St
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Fax (919) 643-4401
Clerk of Court:
- What if I don’t have a lawyer?
You can retain your own lawyer at any point. If you qualify for court-appointed counsel, you will be appointed counsel at your first appearance.
- Is there a place I can get help with bail?
Yes, visit the Orange County Bail Bond Justice project website for more information.
- What if I have court costs, fees, and/or fines that I am not able to pay?
You may be eligible for assistance from the Restoration Legal Counsel program. Visit the RLC page for more information.
- Is there help for outstanding criminal justice or DMV debt?
Orange County Residents are eligible for funding to pay court fees/costs or other states, as well as NC DMV hearing and reinstatement fees required to restore a license. Visit the Debt Relief Program flyer for information about eligibility.
- What if I am interested in harm reduction materials such as Naloxone and Fentanyl strips, where can I get them?
You may get harm reduction materials at:
106 E Margaret Lane
1st Floor, Courthouse
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Free Vending machine at OC Detention Center
1200 US-70 West, Hillsborough, NC 27278 (across from the DMV)
Free Vending machine at OC Southern Human Services Center
2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 2751
- How do I get help with a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
You may contact or visit the Compass Center or the Orange County Sheriff’s Office:
Address: 210 Henderson Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Hotline (24/7): 919-929-7122
Sheriff’s Office –
Address: 106 E. Margaret Lane Hillsborough, NC 27278
Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Extended hours: call 911
Phone: (919) 245-2900
- What are some Crisis Services in Orange County?
911 for any life-threatening emergency
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
(800) 510-9132 Alliance 24/7 Crisis Line
(866) 275-9552 Mobile Crisis Unit
(919) 245-2655 Orange County Housing Helpline
See OC Eviction Diversion Program flyer