Pauli Halstead: Justice that heals: a new vision for Nevada County


Jails are usually not designed for psychological well being therapy. Nevada County continues to be ill-prepared to look after and deal with these with psychological well being problems within the justice system. Incarcerating people with psychological sickness within the county jail truly impedes their therapy and rehabilitation, making it harder for them to efficiently re-enter the group. Releasing people who want ongoing psychological well being therapy undermines long-term group security by rising recidivism.

Sixty-four p.c of jail inmates throughout the nation have psychological well being issues. People with critical psychological sickness are underrepresented within the felony justice system. Many lack correct analysis and a particular therapy plan. Repeat offenders are presenting with extra extreme psychological sickness and acute signs than ever earlier than. That is mirrored in our every day Jail Media Report, accessible on-line. The result’s much less public security and belief in our judicial system, as many are returned to the group after a brief keep in jail. Monitoring these people post-release, particularly when homeless, is problematic.

What, then, is the answer? We are able to look to San Francisco, which has carried out a brand new program by way of a centralized service heart, The Behavioral Well being Justice Middle:

“The proposed BHJC ensures public security by offering psychological well being companies designed to interrupt the cycle of homelessness, dependancy, and felony exercise. Central to the idea is a system of interconnected elements that creates a continuum of psychological well being care companies. The BHJC will present, for the primary time, a purposeful, coordinated system of care with completely different ranges of service and applicable therapy choices for people with psychological sickness within the justice system. The BHJC has 4 tiers of service and therapy to handle 4 distinct ranges of want. Participation in any respect 4 ranges will likely be voluntary.

“Degree 1: Emergency psychological well being reception heart and respite beds. A 24-hour venue for police to carry people experiencing a psychological well being episode for an preliminary psychological well being evaluation.

“Degree 2: Brief-term (two to 3 weeks) transitional housing and on-site residential therapy.

“Degree 3: Lengthy-term residential twin analysis therapy. Longer-term intensive residential psychiatric care and substance abuse therapy in an unlocked setting.

“Degree 4: Safe inpatient transitional care unit. Brief-term, voluntary inpatient therapy for individuals with psychological sickness transitioning to community-based residential therapy packages.”

The proposed program can be a collaborative interagency navigation heart designed to bridge the hole between our felony justice system and community-based therapy packages for mentally unwell people. It will guarantee diversion on the earliest attainable level, many occasions within the camps or on the road. As a substitute of an arrest, the individual would instantly be positioned in therapy. The co-location of those companies throughout the continuum will present a seamless system of look after these with psychological sickness that may assist them exit the felony justice system.

The newly created disaster groups — supported by the Sheriff’s Workplace, Behavioral Well being, Grass Valley Police Division and Hospitality Home — will help in making contacts in the neighborhood, steering individuals into companies slightly than jail. The HOME group additionally does a lot of the contacting and redirecting of individuals to shelter and companies.

Now that the juvenile corridor will now not home juveniles, that facility may present the right use for a residential and day reporting therapy heart. Lots of our repeat offending, mentally unwell and drug-addicted people are homeless. A residential and day therapy heart would hold them off the road, thus offering extra assist and on the similar time promote public security. Having one centralized location for all of this might be value efficient.

With the fixed rearrests of lots of the mentally unwell and drug-addicted offenders, it’s actually time to discover a answer to the issue. The issue has at all times been lack of therapy whereas in jail. Remedy takes a very long time. It’s irresponsible and inhumane to maintain returning mentally unwell offenders to the group and not using a long-term therapy case plan. This places your entire group regularly in danger. The vandalism, theft, hearth hazard and violence has turn into economically and emotionally insupportable.

It will be encouraging if the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, together with regulation enforcement and Behavioral Well being, labored collectively to design and implement such a program. Sure, it’ll value cash, however the financial savings in harm to the group (sure, the group is paying dearly), police time, incarceration prices at $200 per day per individual, DA, public defender and court docket time will definitely offset among the prices. A price-benefit evaluation is required. Maybe seeking to San Francisco to see how the Behavioral Well being Justice Middle program is working there can be an excellent place to start out.

Pauli Halstead lives in Nevada Metropolis.





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