The Contra Costa County Office of Reentry & Justice announces that the County has been recommended by an Executive Steering Committee of the California Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) for a three-year, $5,984,000 state grant to implement “CoCo LEAD Plus,” an innovative program intended to break the cycle of repeated incarceration for people with mental illness or substance use disorders in Antioch, California.
The BSCC will vote on these recommendations at its meeting on June 8, 2017.
Funded by the statewide savings generated from Proposition 47, a voter-approved initiative passed in November 2014, CoCo LEAD Plus is a partnership of Contra Costa County’s Behavioral Health Services, the Antioch Police Department, County Probation, the Contra Costa Housing Authority, the County’s Health, Housing, and Homeless Services, and community-based organizations.
In collaboration with the Antioch Police Department, the program will implement new arrest-diversion protocols and intensive, coordinated services for people with behavioral health issues who have been repeatedly arrested for a broad array of low-level, non-violent charges. Start-up activities will begin this summer, with services beginning by the end of 2017.
County Board of Supervisor Chair Federal Glover responded to the announcement by noting: “Across the nation and within our own community, people with complex behavioral challenges repeatedly cycle from the streets to the jails. To interrupt this cycle, CoCo LEAD Plus will combine coordinated diversion with peer-driven outreach and engagement, evidence-based behavioral health services, wraparound social and vocational support, and housing opportunities for program participants.”
Supervisor Diane Burgis, whose district includes portions of Antioch, added:
“The partnership between the County and the Antioch Police Department will strengthen public safety by bringing much-needed services to people who struggle with addiction and/or mental illness.”
Passed by California voters in November 2014, Proposition 47 – also known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act – is designed to reduce incarceration across the state by reclassifying certain low-level crimes from potential felonies to misdemeanors, and to reinvest the subsequent savings into community-based drug and mental health treatment, programs for at-risk students in K-12 schools, and victim services.