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US: A helping hand; CHD jail diversion program works to keep former inmates and at risk individuals out of the criminal justice system

Found: Fri Mar 15 22:09:00 2019 PDT
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A helping hand; CHD jail diversion program works to keep former inmates and at risk individuals out of the criminal justice system A helping hand; CHD jail diversion program works to keep former inmates and at risk individuals out of the criminal justice system

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Published March 15, 2019 at 10:33AM

A helping hand

CHD jail diversion program works to keep former inmates and at risk individuals out of the criminal justice system

8488019 From left, Troy Davis, Louise Larvik, Taylor Brown and Kory Escobar run CHD's jail diversion team, which focuses on keeping community members with mental illness out of jail. - grande observer


From left, Troy Davis, Louise Larvik, Taylor Brown and Kory Escobar run CHD's jail diversion team, which focuses on keeping community members with mental illness out of jail. 8488019

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Amanda Weisbrod

For some inmates of Union County Jail, the chances of breaking free from the vicious legal and justice system cycle grow exponentially with the help of the Center for Human Development's jail diversion program.

Taylor Brown, jail diversion team lead, said the program was established in 2016 to give inmates with behavioral health problems access to community services, as well as to keep people with mental illness who are at risk of incarceration out of jail in the first place. Last quarter, the team reports working with 48 of these individuals, which is the largest number they've served since the program's beginning.

"Our main goal is to get involved with individuals who have mental illnesses and end up stuck in the spiral of the justice system," she said. "We start providing intensive services that (the inmates) may not have known were available to hopefully reduce recidivism (the chance of reincarceration)."

Brown works with three other CHD employees on the jail diversion team: Kory Escobar, employment and education specialist; Louise Larvik, nurse; and Troy Davis, case manager.

Together, they provide what Davis called "pre- and post-booking services" -- such as individual therapy, group therapy, supported employment and education services, peer support, medicine management and more -- to individuals in Union County who may be at risk for incarceration based on their mental illness, to current inmates with mental illness, and to recently released convicts who are trying to reintegrate into the community.

"We try to intervene before these individuals are sent to jail," Davis said. "But we also provide services to inmates after lodging at the Union County Jail."

As case manager, Davis assists former inmates with navigating health insurance, attending court hearings or parole meetings and applying to government programs so they can successfully stay out of jail.

"My role is to stabilize people to help them achieve the basics of living," he said. "There are many, but limited, resources available to the community that people are often unaware of. In the interest of developing stabilization and independence, jail diversion helps connect people to those resources."

Davis stressed the jail diversion program isn't a "handout," however.

"We're connecting people to resources, not giving out free rides," he said. "Our intent is to stabilize them so they can move forward independently in life."

Aaron Grigg, mental health director at CHD, oversees the jail diversion program and coordinates with the sheriff's office when needed. He said one of the "biggest barriers inmates face out of jail is finding employment."

"For some, it's hard to resist crime with no income," Grigg said.

That's where Escobar, supported employment and education specialist, comes in. Escobar not only helps inmates prepare for interviews, create resumes and find jobs suitable with their individual skill sets, but also focuses on getting inmates to complete their GED.

"Even with a simple part- time job, they get a confidence boost that's really cool to see," he said. "That's the spark they need to become a productive member of the community."

Brown recalls one success story in particular that inspires the jail diversion team to continue serving inmates with behavioral health issues.

"One graduate from jail diversion has been involved since 2016," she said. "He completed parole, completed his mental health services and went on to become a peer mentor at the jail."

Davis then chimed in with his experience working with this person.

"To know this individual came from a life of crime and addiction makes their turnaround unbelievable," he said. "He decided to become successful in the community."

While the official jail diversion program is fairly new, Grigg said CHD has a "long- standing" agreement with the county jail to intervene whenever an inmate with mental illness is in crisis.

"We have had a presence at the jail for a long time," he said. "Our jail diversion program is part of what the state wants mental health programs in each county to do."

In October 2018, the Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee, composed of 28 officials from Oregon law enforcement, health care, government officials and more submitted a recommendation on policy for how to divert people with mental illness from the criminal justice system.

Their plan, titled the Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon, said "without access to effective community-based health care for substance addictions and mental illnesses, too many Oregonians wind up in crisis and then in emergency rooms or jail, leading to high costs and poor health and public safety outcomes."

In Union County, Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen and the deputies managing the jail are happy to work alongside members of CHD to keep individuals in the community, not behind bars.

"The jail diversion program alleviates our jail capacity challenges by delivering mental health services in the field where they are most needed," he wrote in a statement. "We fully support CHD with this program."

Brown, who is focused on the therapy side of the jail diversion program, started hosting trauma groups in the jail at the beginning of the year to help incarcerated men deal with trauma and substance abuse issues in an open space. She said the women's group will start in April.

"The goal of the groups is to bring awareness to topics they might not want to talk about," Brown said. "These men have the idea they can't look vulnerable, so they struggle with emotions."

Brown said every inmate likely experiences some sort of trauma that may lead to mental health issues in some situations. Grigg agreed, stating he has never seen a situation of a criminal who has a drug and alcohol abuse history without an accompanying trauma history.

At its core, CHD's jail diversion program helps the inmates of Union County work through their personal trauma through therapy sessions, case work and employment assistance in order to reintroduce them to the community as a productive and successful person.

"It's not about teaching them that they're victims -- it's about helping them take control of their situation," Grigg said. "If people can heal, they can improve. We're trying to provide healing for people so they don't keep coming back."

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Amanda Weisbrod

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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:36 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:1 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? yes .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:21 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:11 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:4 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:0 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:0 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme4 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
 addiction 60%
[news] [concept]
"addiction" "addictions"2Twelve-Step Snake Oil (2012)
Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers (Thomas Szasz)
Rat Park
Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied? (2014)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 90%
[news] [concept]

"crime" "criminal" "mental health issues" "problems" "mental illness" "mental illnesses" "health problems" addiction19Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"community" "community-based" "public safety"11Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
 use is abuse

use is abuse
[news] [concept]

"substance abuse" "abuse"3Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4)

gateway 55%
[news] [concept]

"lead to"1Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
Distortion 7: Gateway
propaganda_theme4 : drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gatewaygateway, use is abuse

propaganda theme4
[news] [concept]

use is abuse gateway Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

addiction cannabis  
 drugs 90%
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 psychoactive chemical

chemicals 50%
[news] [concept]

 psychoactive plant

[news] [concept]

[news] [concept]
 depressant intoxicant 50%
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
 alcohol 50%
[news] [concept]
"alcohol"1Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site
Pot Threatens Booze Profits
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
hemp Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)
 various drugs 90%
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
"jail" "incarceration" "incarcerated" "parole" "inmates" "inmate" "behind bars"55Prison Hell in America (Stephen Lendman, Oct. 2011)
Understanding the U.S. Torture State
this is what a police state looks like
Torture and the United States and... drugs.htm
US Official Prison Policy: Encourage Men's Rape (2014)
Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex (2012)
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Sing a Little Louder
Prison Rape Widely Ignored by Authorities
Push Back Against Drug War Profiteering with Jury Nullification
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"official" "officials"3Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)

st:0.01 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0.01 db:0.224 a:0.48 m:0.45 t:1.45 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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    article tags


    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    incarceration concept - Prisons, Jails and Probation
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    alcohol concept - ethyl alcohol for intoxication
    hemp concept - industrial hemp (for food, fuel, fiber, etc.)
    depressant_intoxicant concept
    intoxicant concept
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme4 concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gateway
    gateway concept - drug war propaganda theme: gateway
    use_is_abuse concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    addiction concept - addition or drug dependency
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition