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Craighead County Crisis Intervention Response Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $549,995)

Nationwide offenders with behavioral health issues frequently become involved in and continue to cycle through the Criminal Justice System. The same is true in Craighead County.  Although these individuals regularly encounter the legal system, their behavioral health needs are seldom addressed. What is more, Law Enforcement Officers are often ill prepared for encounters with individuals struggling with behavioral health disorders. These very delicate occurrences easily escalate into more dire situations. Situations which many times result in unnecessary arrest, incarceration and in some instances, serious injury. The purpose of the Craighead County Crisis Intervention Response Initiative is to improve public safety responses and outcomes for individuals with mental illnesses and/or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse who come in contact with the justice system by implementing Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) in Craighead County. This falls in line with program specific priority areas of promoting effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MI or CMISA and to public safety. Craighead County Crisis Intervention Response Initiative proposes to embed Mental Health Professionals in Law Enforcement Agencies in Craighead County to assist officers during encounters with people in mental health crisis using a model developed by CIT. International. This proposal will help to recruit and identify a full time Law Enforcement Officer CIT Coordinator, a Mental Health CIT Coordinator, CIT Trainers, and CIT Co-Responders. We are requesting a total amount of $550,000 for this project. Craighead County is the applicant and fiscal agent.  Lisa Lawrence is the County Judge Administrator and will be the grant administrator. Craighead County is partnering with Mid-South Health Systems, Inc., the community mental health agency to provide mental health services. Kimberley Boyette, an employee of MSHS, is the Project Director and the Crisis Stabilization Unit Director.  MSHS will provide general administrative oversight for the project. We propose to provide CIT training for 150 officers per year for 3 years totaling 450 officers; creating a great impact on the overall safety of Craighead County. Craighead County, Arkansas had an estimated population of 110,332 in 2019 according to US Census. 17.9 % of the population lives in poverty. 51.4 % of the population is female and the racial percentages are as followed 80 % Caucasian, 16% African American, 1 % Asian, and 5% Hispanic

Date Created: December 16, 2021