Santa Barbara County received nearly $6 million in Prop 47 grant funding to provide substance-use disorder treatment, mental health services and other diversion programs for people in the criminal justice system. The three-year grant will begin in August 2019 and includes an evaluation component for the impact of these services. Led by the County’s Public Defender, Behavioral Wellness and the Sheriff’s Office, funding will allow for a full-time co-response Crisis Intervention Team comprised of a Sheriff deputy and a mental health provider to ensure proactive and responsive community interventions. Additional monies will be used to develop Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion services to provide accessible mental health and substance abuse services for south county juvenile and adult residents. Built into the grant are housing-related assistance and other community-based supportive services, including job skills training, case management and legal services. The county’s objective is to divert a minimum of 120 people out of the criminal justice system in Santa Barbara County. Through mutual agreement, law enforcement officers involved in crisis intervention will be allowed to respond across county and city jurisdictions for a minimum of 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday.

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