Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $2,421,967)
In 2020, Utah had the ninth highest age-adjusted suicide rate in the U.S., and the rate of child firearm deaths in Utah was the highest it has been since 1999. Four times as many Utah children die by firearms as they did twenty years ago. Although Utah has made significant efforts to address and prevent suicide, firearm related injuries and suicide are the leading causes of death for children in Utah today. The Utah Commission of Criminal and Juvenile Justice, acting as the designated state authority in partnership with a vast team of stakeholders and experts, seeks Byrne SCIP support to achieve the following statewide objectives in federal fiscal years 2022-23:
1) Development of the Utah Byrne Crisis Intervention Advisory Board to include representatives from our law enforcement legislative council, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Utah Prosecution Council, numerous behavioral health providers, victim services, and legal counselors to guide Byrne pilot efforts in Utah through the federal funding period (October 2022-September 2026).
2) Specifically, Utah’s Byrne Crisis Intervention Advisory Board will develop and implement a pilot plan for crisis teams, hospitals, mental health professionals, and first responders to provide free portable biometric gun lockers to high-risk individuals and gun owners seeking options for safe storage.
3) Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams will provide training for crisis teams, hospitals, mental health professionals, schools, and first responders to provide gun lockers to high-risk individuals, including advisement of Utah’s Safe Harbor option (Utah statute 53-5c-201).
4) Byrne Crisis Intervention Advisory Board will develop a statewide mapping project to capture options for safe storage at gun dealers and shooting ranges to promote awareness of options for out of home storage in tandem with free gun lockers.
5) Create a coordinated statewide public awareness campaign to improve awareness of Utah’s Safe Harbor options (Utah statute 53-5c-201) and crisis intervention services, including 988, and safe storage options with free portable biometric safes and mapped statewide network of gun dealers and shooting ranges supporting temporary out of home storage options.
6) Evaluation of Utah’s Byrne free safe program and out of home storage partnerships following this coordinated pilot effort to guide ongoing crisis intervention programming and policy priorities statewide, anticipating a downtrend in firearm related deaths and youth suicide by 2026.