In 1841, Dorothea Dix was appalled by the conditions she observed in Massachusetts jails and crusaded for more humane responses to the needs of those inmates with mental illnesses. Within a decade her work was translated into therapeutic state run institutions that traded punishment for care. Over the next century, without sustained commitment to Dix's vision for recovery, these facilities fell into disrepair to the point that today, hundreds of thousands of people with mental illnesses crowd our county jails and state prisons.
In recent years, Arizona has incarcerated a higher number of people suffering from mental disabilities than almost any other state in our nation. David's Hope is dedicated to seeing that change and to improving criminal justice mental health collaboration in Arizona and across the nation. In 2014 we officially launched our David's Hope Criminal Justice Mental Health Collaboration Project. Our efforts continue to focus on Crisis, Corrections, Diversion, Juvenile Justice and Reentry. The David's Hope Criminal Justice Mental Health Collaboration Project will continue to build on the foundation we have laid in the Arizona Mental Health and Criminal Justice Coalition. David's Hope was asked to take the leadership of the coalition in 2012 and since that time we have continued to build a grass roots movement which is reaching into the halls of government.
As partners together we reach out to both officials in government, representatives of mental health and substance abuse treatment providers and recipients of mental health services to promote cross system collaboration. David's Hope promotes evidence based practices which will keep our communities safer by closing the revolving door of those with mental illness and addictions recycling through our jails and prisons. We work to improve access to and participation in, effective mental health and addiction treatment, which will save our taxpayer dollars from being wasted on expensive back end fixes after crisis erupts.Supporting Our Returning Citizens.
The majority of all prisoners will return to our communities. Our coalition serves the formerly incarcerated by offering them the tools they need to rebuild hope for themselves and for those whose lives they touch.
David's Hope recognizes that excessive barriers which discourage and prevent former prisoners from reentering their communities after periods of incarceration are often well meaning but misguided attempts at keeping our communities safer. Our Coalition seeks to create partnerships with government and private business to identify and eliminate excessive hardships placed on men and women leaving our correctional systems.
In 2010 under the leadership of then Arizona's U S Attorney, Dennis Burke, the Arizona Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC) was formed. The committee sought input from federal, state, and local corrections, probation officers and law enforcement officers as well as the faith community and dozens of other reentry stake holders. The recommendations for program design were called the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Weed and Seed Reentry Initiative 2010. Although the committee no longer formally exists, David's Hope endeavors to keep the effort alive and in the mainstream of reentry efforts in Arizona. Most of the mission and goals below have been derived from the work of the Weed and Seed Committee. Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Weed and Seed Reentry Initiative
Author: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of ArizonaMission of the Reentry Initiative
The Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Reentry Initiative works to bring together a broad coalition of stakeholders in order to promote the successful reintegration of the formerly incarcerated, to reduce crime and recidivism, to increase the safety of our communities and to ensure the rights and safety of victims of crime.