Fairfax County, Va., launched its Diversion First initiative in 2015 to offer alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illnesses and/or developmental disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. The initiative began with an initial 40-person stakeholder group that has expanded to more than 180 members who meet quarterly as a whole and participate in various work groups on issues such as data and evaluation, communications, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and more. Through every step of the initiative, the leadership and stakeholders’ groups communicate to the community about the work being done and the potential impact of these efforts to gain and maintain public support and trust.
About Nastassia Walsh (Full Bio)
Associate Program Director – JusticeNastassia Walsh is an Associate Program Director for Justice at the National Association of Counties (NACo). In this role, she focuses primarily on providing educational programming on the intersection of mental health and justice and other criminal justice areas.
More from Nastassia Walsh
- Stepping Up and Data-Driven Justice: Using Data to Identify and Serve People who Frequently Utilize Health, Human Services and Justice Systems
- Stepping Up and Data-Driven Justice: Using and Sharing Data Across Health, Human Services and Justice Systems to Improve Responses for People Who Have Mental Illnesses