Originally Published: August 22, 2018 8:21 p.m.
Sheriff Mascher is pleased to announce the appointment of Beya Thayer as Executive Director for the Yavapai County Justice and Mental Health Coalition. Thayer’s duties include general oversight of the Mental Health Coalition task force, the ‘Reach Out’ Program providing pre and post arrest diversion services, and various aspects of mental health training, guidance, and resource coordination for first responders and other partners in the criminal justice system.
Thayer was chosen for this important position due to her extensive background in mental health developed through education and training. Thayer has a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University and has worked e xtensively in the social services arena for over 20 years.
As a result, Thayer has developed a network of resources and the expertise to guide the process for the related stakeholders participating in the effort to de-criminalize mental health. Thayer is also on the board of End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).
This non-profit organization has been involved in implementing ‘Seek Then Speak,’ an online resource for sexual assault victims. YCSO and several local law enforcement partners, along with area victim advocacy groups, just announced their participation in the service. Thayer will be focusing on the coordination and collaboration of the stakeholders within the Mental Health Coalition, encouraging the exchange of ideas, guiding implementation, and bringing resources to bear where they are needed.
Stakeholders include, but are not limited to, court officials, law enforcement partners, probation, county attorney, public defender, school administrators, victim/family advocacy groups, behavioral health organizations, recovery program groups, etc.
A large part of Thayer’s work will be overseeing YCSO’s “Reach Out” program. “Reach Out” offers a service linkage to county jail inmates with appropriate behavioral health and substance abuse treatment at the earliest possible moment in the criminal justice system. The goal of “Reach Out” is to reduce recidivism in our jail system and overall jail population. Recent reports indicate a reduction in jail population, some of which is attributed to ‘Reach Out,’ which began implementation in May 2018. “Reach Out” also has a pre-arrest diversion focus involving trained law enforcement officers utilizing de-escalation skills in conjunction with crisis response teams to divert those with mental health issues from jail when appropriate.
Information provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office