Sheriff’s Office again recognized for innovative jail programs
The National Institute for Jail Operations (NIJO) has awarded the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with the Detention Facility Innovation Award.
The award is given to agencies that demonstrate exceptional achievement in developing and/or enhancing a particular aspect or feature in a jail or its operations.
The YCSO was chosen for the award this year for its planning, development, implementation and outcomes of diversionary and reentry-based programs put into place within the last year.
Specifically, the YCSO has created and implemented 13 new programs; applied for and been awarded nine different grants; and has introduced diversion/reentry legislation that has been signed into law.
They’ve also created or improved partnerships with more than 30 criminal justice practitioners and community providers with the formation of the Yavapai County Mental Health Coalition. Through those partnerships, the YCSO has facilitated services for nearly 2,000 inmates.
The common thread that has allowed for these successes is the ability to partner and build relationships with the network of providers. It is for these reasons that the YCSO was recognized for innovation in the area of diversion and reentry efforts. Accepting this award on behalf of the YCSO was Chief Deputy David Rhodes on June 7, at the NIJO conference in Scottsdale.
NEW YCSO PROGRAMS
• Moral recognition therapy: A cognitive-behavioral treatment system which leads to enhanced moral reasoning, better decision making and more appropriate behavior.
• Health start pregnancy program: Operated in conjunction with the Yavapai County Health Department, instructors educate and prepare Yavapai County’s pregnant inmates on available resources, what to expect leading up to delivery as well as best practices for parenting their child after delivery.
• Yavapai reentry employment support services: Through collaboration with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Yavapai County inmates are provided with application and resume building assistance, interviewing technique training and connection to employers in Yavapai County.
• Veteran services: Through partnerships with US Vets and the Veterans Administration, the YCSO has begun identifying and referring eligible US Veterans to treatment and services upon release.
• Yavapai Big Brothers and Big Sisters (YBBBS): Understanding that incarceration touches more than just the offender, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with YBBBS to bring positive adult interaction to children of Yavapai County affected by incarceration.
• Parenting inside out: With research finding that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) is an accurate forecaster of future mental health and substance abuse disorders, the YCSO, in conjunction with the Yavapai County Community Health Department, have brought “ACE” education to their inmate population. Through knowledge of this topic, they are able to provide appropriate tools for incarcerated individuals to recover from past trauma as well as enlightenment and reduction of trauma that they themselves may be causing within their family unit.
• Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) Enrollment: The YCSO in partnership with AHCCCS has brought the ability to provide and submit AHCCCS applications for processing in their inmate population in order to ensure uninterrupted care upon release.
• SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) applications: Through the Utilization of the abilities and connections of their own volunteers, the YSCO brought the ability for inmates to apply for Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance benefits while in custody. SOAR volunteers also assist in the reentry into society of qualifying individuals.
• Transportation and transitional housing services: Just as many of you have experienced, Transportation and Housing remains one of the biggest challenges for successful reentry. Through the award of grants and partnerships with community providers, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has secured funding for the provision of transportation and transitional housing for at-risk individuals exiting their jail facilities.
• Yavapai County reentry program: Seeing benefits and success stories from prison reentry programs, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office partnered with a local provider to bring community coaches to support and assist in the reintegration of qualifying persons reentering their communities.
• Post arrest diversion: Working with their county attorney, public defender and superior court, the YCSO designed and implemented a program to identify low-level felony defendants suffering from mental health or co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Upon identification, YCSO staff would coordinate with behavioral health homes for completion of an assessment and creation of a treatment plan. Upon the courts acceptance of the treatment plan and decision to divert into treatment, Sheriff’s Office staff would facilitate the transfer of services from YCSO to the designated provider.
•Reach Out initiative: The YCSO came to the realization that providing intervention at the earliest possible intercept within the criminal justice system could lead to a greater reduction in criminal activity, as well as promote successful outcomes by early intervention. These realizations brought forth the ideology that identification and services should be available to all who are in need. Grant funding along with the recent recognition of the Arizona’s state legislature and Governor’s Office has allowed the YCSO to develop, implement and sustain this program with little out-of-pocket cost.
Information provided by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.