Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition

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Justice Coalition Meetings
If you would like to receive updates via email, you may send a message to request that your name be added to our distribution list by contacting: [email protected]
Contact Us
Please call or email David's Hope with any questions or for more information:
Email Address:
[email protected]
David's Hope Line:
David's Hope Brochure 2019
Criminal Defense for Cases Involving Mental Illness
Become an Endorser
We invite your organization to become an endorser of the Arizona Mental Health & Criminal Justice Coalition, a program of David's Hope. Strengthen mental health criminal justice collaboration by submitting the endorser form, to link your organization with us and be listed on our website.
Coalition Endorser Agreement 2020
Navigating a mental health Crisis
A NAMI resource guide for those experiencing a mental health emergency. CLICK HERE
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Step Up AZ 2019
was made possible by the support of our sponsors. Thank you for your generous support and partnership in the work of decriminalizing mental illness.
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Welcome to David's Hope
David's Hope is a 501c3 nonprofit organization created in 2009. Reducing incarceration and promoting treatment for those with mental illness and addictions in Arizona and across the nation is our vision. In order to accomplish our work, it is important that both mental health and criminal justice entities collaborate together. A program of David's Hope which is bringing about this much needed change is the Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition.
Our Mission
The mission of David's Hope is to reduce the numbers of those with mental disorders and addictions who are incarcerated through Prevention, Intervention and Treatment.

David's Hope promotes and secures treatment for those with mental health disorders and addictions through increasing collaboration between our mental health and criminal justice systems.

Evidence based practices have shown us that diverting those with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders away from the criminal justice system and into comprehensive community-based treatment and support services will improve public safety and save tax payer dollars.

David's Hope provides education and mentoring, teaching people how to advocate for themselves and others. We work collaboratively in the community to share information, training and resources.

Through education and mentoring we hope to create understanding in the community of the issues facing those living with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system.

Come Join Us…
David's Hope - Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition meets on a regular basis at various locations around our state. As a totally volunteer run organization, our manpower and funding require us to ask for help from you our partners, to help us in building a strong coalition throughout Arizona. David's Hope works to support people with psychiatric disabilities at risk of becoming or already involved in our criminal justice system. 

If you or your organization would like to help us organize a meeting in your region, we want to hear from you. Coalition meeting notices are sent out regularly through our partner email list. If you do not already receive our partner communications or would like to inquire about the possibility of holding a coalition meeting in your town, send a request to Mary Lou Brncik at [email protected] .

David's Hope leads the Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition and invites you to become a partner of the coalition. Our coalition members are invited to participate at any of the junctures where mental health and criminal justice intersect. Conference call in is available for our coalition work group. We invite you to join with us as we work to protect human rights for those with mental disabilities in our criminal justice system.
Honoring Law Enforcement
Every year David's Hope honors law enforcement officers for exemplary service and leadership in responding to individuals in mental health crisis. Judicial officers and community members are also recognized for outstanding service in building mental health criminal justice collaboration. We are currently accepting nominations for outstanding service and leadership by law enforcement officers in responding to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. Nominations are accepted year round. Included here is the nomination form which we invite you to submit, in order that your nominee be considered for recognition. Either pdf or word can be used for your convenience. 

Officer Nomination form 2020.pdf           Officer Nomination form 2020.docx

Stepping Up Initiative
David's Hope invites you to learn about the Stepping Up Initiative, a nationwide effort to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Go to http://www.stepuptogether.org
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Stepping Up Initiative
Leading the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project in Miami-Dade County Florida, Judge Leifman is the architect of the Stepping Up Initiative.

Research the Stepping Up Strategy Lab

Steven Leifman 2018 Pardes Humanitarian Award 

Judge Steve Leifman bio
In collaboration with 70 Million, a national podcast that examines criminal justice reforms around the country, WLRN looked at the mechanisms of Miami-Dade County's Criminal Mental Health Project. For a glimpse of the life changing program Judge Leifman and his team have created, we invite you to view:
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How Miami-Dade's Mental Health Program Steers People To Treatment, Not Jail
Daniel Rivero, Nadege Green
In collaboration with 70 Million , a national podcast that examines criminal justice reforms around the country,...
  • David's Hope - Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition

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    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.

    pdf_image Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee Weed and Seed Reentry Initiative
    Author: U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

    Mission 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.
  • Improving Collaboration between Arizona's Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems

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    Within the criminal justice system we are working to increase the recognition of mental illness as an organic brain disease which affects behavior. We seek to secure mental health treatment rather than incarceration for those who have been responsible for breaking our criminal codes due to untreated symptoms of their mental illness. In conjunction with this effort, David's Hope is working across Arizona to improve outcomes of individual recovery for those who are in need of Court Ordered Treatment (COT) also widely known as Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT). We must hold our public mental health care providers accountable for outcomes. On average, people with mental illnesses remain incarcerated eight times longer than people without mental illnesses arrested for the exact same charge, at a cost seven times higher. With little treatment available, many individuals cycle through the system for the majority of their adult lives. By demanding transparency and accountability from our mental health and criminal justice systems, we know our cities will remain safer. As we decrease the effects of untreated mental illness in our nation, we will bring common sense solutions to problems such as substance abuse and homelessness. It is treatment not incarceration, that will equip those who suffer with mental illness to maintain wellness for themselves and our communities.

    David's Hope leads the Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition. The coalition's mission is to promote a full range of opportunities, from diversion to re-entry, for those with mental illness engaged in our criminal justice system. The coalition's vision is, prevention, diversion, and reintegration.

    Through public consensus David's Hope provides feedback to behavioral health providers, as to effective policies which will reduce crimes that are occurring as a result of improperly treated mental illness. We work to provide detailed input to probation and parole departments regarding the safety of those with mental health issues. Within our collaboration of stakeholders, we identify lapses in care to those within the justice system who are suffering from mental illness and promote system improvements which will prevent recidivism
  • Promoting Evidence Based Practices in Arizona through use of the Sequential Intercept Model

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    David's Hope is creating a statewide coalition which will promote the use of best practices in Arizona's mental health and criminal justice systems. We invite both individuals and organizations to become a part of our formal network. We will be addressing such issues as safety and health care in our jails and prisons, ending the practice of placing individuals diagnosed with a mental illness in solitary confinement, reforming mandatory sentencing laws and limiting the practice of sentencing juveniles in the adult system.

    David's Hope works to promote the use of the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) across Arizona's criminal justice and mental health systems. The SIM brochure can be found at the following link, with an introduction and description below, as found on the brochure, which is published by Policy Research Associates.

    Sequential Intercept Model as a strategic planning tool.

    The Sequential Intercept Model is most effective when used as a community strategic planning tool to assess available resources, determine gaps in services, and plan for community change. These activities are best accomplished by a team of stakeholders that cross over multiple systems, including mental health, substance use, law enforcement, pretrial services, courts, jails, community corrections, housing, health, social services, people with lived experiences, family members, and many others. Employed as a strategic planning tool, communities can use the Sequential Intercept Model to: 1.Develop a comprehensive picture of how people with mental and substance use disorders flow through the criminal justice system along six distinct intercept points: (0) Community Services, (1) Law Enforcement, (2) Initial Detention and Initial Court Hearings, (3) Jails and Courts, (4) Reentry, and (5) Community Corrections 2.Identify gaps, resources, and opportunities at each intercept for adults with mental and substance use disorders 3.Develop priorities for action designed to improve system and service-level responses for adults with mental and substance use disorders

    The Arizona Mental Health Criminal Justice Coalition seeks to be inclusive of a diverse range of reform issues and to be a catalyst which will reduce the numbers we incarcerate, while providing better outcomes through treatment and diversion opportunities. Incarceration can not cure or alleviate the effects of mental health and substance use disorders but treatment can. David's Hope needs you to help make our cross system collaboration a success, so give us a call today.
  • Reentry Objectives Within the Stepping Up Initiative Framework 

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    • Strengthen coordination and information sharing among reentry stakeholders.
    • Educate and prepare communities for the reintegration of the formerly incarcerated.
    • Strengthen faith-based partnerships, mentoring, and other community based partnerships, to promote successful family and community reintegration.
    • Engage families, children, and juveniles through each phase of the reentry spectrum.
    • Address gaps in transition from courts to corrections, probation and parole.
  • With Appreciation and Thanks to our Sponsors

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    2018 Step Up Arizona Summit Sponsors
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    2017 Step Up Arizona Summit Sponsors
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