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  • Local law enforcement, health and County leaders to discuss alternative-to-arrest program at panel event

    Aug 12, 2022 | Read More News
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     Crisis Response Center
    Tucson's Crisis Response Center is one option for law officers who decide treatment
    is a better option than arrest for someone experiencing a personal crisis. 
    Members of local law enforcement, health experts and Pima County officials will gather virtually Aug. 18 for a discussion and Q&A on the impact of arrest deflection strategies on Pima County’s effort to safely reduce the local jail population.

    Police-led deflection allows police officers the discretion to replace arrest with outreach to community-based service providers, allowing a true alternative to jail as the primary mechanism for treatment and support for those living with serious mental health disorders or substance use disorders.

    A new report released by criminal justice research organization Justice System Partners looks at the impact of Pima County’s deflection program on these key populations and the local jail population since its launch in 2011, and recommends considerations for the future.

    The panel discussion and Q&A will cover how the deflection program has evolved since its launch, how police officers make decisions about deflection, what treatment for qualified individuals looks like, and why arrest alternatives support community safety. A full list of speakers is included below. The event is open to members of the media and local community. 

    WHAT: Panel discussion and Q&A on Pima County’s arrest deflection program

    WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, from 10 to 11 a.m.

    WHERE: Register in advance here

    WHO: The following will participate as panelists:

    • Kate Vesely (Co-Moderator), director of Pima County Justice Services
    • Jason Winsky (Co-Moderator), Tucson Police Department Mental Health Support Team
    • Margie Balfour, chief of quality and clinical innovation at Connections Health Solutions
    • Brendan Bond, peer support specialist
    • Todd Schladweiler, Tucson Police Department Mental Health Support Team
    • Ericka Stropka, Tucson Police Department