Community members and stakeholders turned out this week for the Stepping Up Community Meeting on November 19th. This group is tackling the critical task of reducing the number of individuals with mental illness and substance use disorder in jails and the criminal justice system.
The primary focus for this meeting was to review the draft Sequential Intercept Map which was based on community input and a resource identification process from the last Stepping Up Community Meeting. This map outlines the services that are currently available throughout various stages of the criminal justice system, from pre-arrest through re-entry. The goal of this process is to highlight what services and processes are currently working to divert people from jail and instead link them to treatment.
Meeting participants also reviewed the gaps within the current system of care. Of the 34 identified areas, participants weighed in on prioritization across these key programs and processes. Areas of interest to the group included increased housing services as well as community level, pre-arrest programming. Ultimately this list of gaps and needs will become a strategic vision for the Stepping Up initiative and will be the basis for future grant proposals and resource allocation decisions.
Various internal stakeholders such as the Behavioral Health Department, Sheriff's Department, Probation Department, Public Defender, and District Attorney will review and refine the Sequential Intercept Map based on the community input received. Another crucial next step is to connect data to the map to guide prioritization based on community need. We appreciate the community's continued participation in this important initiative and are looking forward to the next Stepping Up Community Meeting which will be scheduled soon.