The United States is at a turning point in how we respond to behavioral and mental health crises. Everyone—from law enforcement to crisis counselors—agrees that standard police models aren’t working: law enforcement officers are forced to serve in ways for which they aren’t trained, which often results in harming the communities they seek to serve. There are a number of models that have been implemented, with varied results.
At the federal level, $1b in funding to help states set up CAHOOTS-like programs was included in the American Rescue Plan, and there are two additional bills now before Congress. In this learning forum, we’ll hear from experts in the field of crisis response on where we are, what research is telling us, and where we can go from here. Guests include:
Dr. Amy Watson, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and recognized national expert in crisis response, co-authored the October 2019 Vera Institute for Justice report “Crisis Response Services for People with Mental Illnesses or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Review of the Literature on Police-based and Other First Response Models”. Her work over the past 20 years has focused on the intersection of the criminal justice and mental health systems-including mental health courts, re-entry programs, and police response to mental health crisis.
Tim Black, Director of Consulting for Eugene, Oregon CAHOOTS program (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets program), the successful 30-year program that is the model for $1b in federal funding included in the American Rescue Plan (Covid relief 2021-1).
Manka Dhingra, Washington State Senator (LD45), Senior Deputy King County Prosecuting Attorney, mental health and crisis intervention expert.
This event will be moderated by Stephan Cox, Washington State Indivisible Podcast. Recordings will be available after for viewing/listening.