Model For A Reformed Criminal Justice System. Democratic Perspective co-hosts, Hava Derby and Steve Williamson, welcome Mik Jordahl and Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes in the third segment of our continuing examination of the criminal justice system.
Jordahl is a local prosecutor who was encouraged to look at alternatives for dealing with non-violent offenders who suffered from mental illness and substance abuse when he realized both the jails and justice system were being flooded. That’s when he met Sheriff Rhodes. Working with Spectrum Healthcare and others, they helped establish a new program based on the sequential intercept model that helps violators find the services they need. Called Reach Out, the program screens every single person jailed for risk factors such as mental health, addiction, homeless and other contributing factors. It then sets up what they call a “Warm Hand Off” for treatment and services. If the violators complete their programs, their arrest record is erased, they can get back on track and get their lives back. And, since Rhodes notes that 96 percent of those arrested return to the community, this type of response improves the community, saves lives, and saves money.
The results have been so successful, the program is serving as a model for other communities.