County Examples & Solutions

Fairfax County, Va.: The Diversion First Initiative to Reduce Incarceration of People with Mental Illnesses

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    Fairfax County, Va.: The Diversion First Initiative to Reduce Incarceration of People with Mental Illnesses

    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. 

     

    In collaboration with the Stepping Up initiative, the Data-Driven Justice initiative and the One Mind Campaign, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) convened a Best Practices Implementation Academy to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders in the Criminal Justice System (the Academy) in June 2017 in Washington, D.C. SAMHSA contracted with Policy Research Associates (PRA), which operates SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, to facilitate the Academy. This case study is part of a series highlighting the six counties that constituted the “Best Practices” teams representing the Data-Driven Justice initiative and the Stepping Up initiative at the Academy. 
    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-lev
    2017-09-06
    County Examples & Solutions
    2017-09-14