New Cuyahoga County Diversion Center To Offer Treatment In Place Of Jail | News

Cuyahoga County has opened a brand new diversion heart to supply habit and psychological well being remedy to individuals who in any other case may go to jail.

Quite a few native officers lower the ribbon Tuesday on the long-discussed 50-bed facility on East fifty fifth Road, south of Payne Avenue.

Initially, the middle will provide providers for individuals who encounter police on nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley mentioned.

“These are usually those who police simply don’t know what they’ll do with, and usually they’ve simply delivered to jail as a result of there’s no place else to place them,” he mentioned. “And that’s not the reply, the reply is to get these individuals wholesome.”

If police decide up somebody with obvious psychological sickness or substance use dysfunction, officers can name a hotline run by the nonprofit Frontline Companies to find out if the diversion heart will take the individual.

Final December, Cuyahoga County Council permitted a $9.2 million, two-year contract with the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug Habit and Psychological Well being Companies Board to run the middle. The county is funding the mission with proceeds from opioid lawsuit settlements.

“It is a main tradition change,” Cuyahoga County Government Armond Budish mentioned. “It’s altering the tradition from a complete incarceration to treating individuals.”

Budish is already speaking about an enlargement. He’d prefer to refurbish the previous juvenile justice heart at East twenty second Road and Central Avenue – a greater location close to the freeway, he mentioned, for legislation enforcement driving in from across the county. 

Town of Cleveland’s high prosecutor, Aqueelah Jordan, mentioned the middle will provide an alternative choice to households who felt they’d no different method to assist family members in disaster than to see them taken to jail.

“We’re capable of say to these neighborhood members, who we are supposed to serve, ‘We have now one other method so that you can assist your loved ones members,” she mentioned.

Activists with Larger Cleveland Congregations, a faith-based neighborhood organizing group, pushed for neighborhood mental health centers through the 2017 struggle over public financing for Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse renovations. A string of deaths on the county jail within the following years – and a scathing 2018 U.S. Marshals Service report – added stress to cut back the jail inhabitants.

Quite a few GCC members attended Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting, together with Donna Weinberger, the group’s prison justice coordinator.

“We see this facility as solely the start,” she mentioned, “the start of an entire continuum of diversion applications to maintain mentally unwell and addicted individuals out of the jail.”

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