Santa Barbara County was awarded nearly $6 million over a three year period from Proposition 47 grant funding to specifically provide mental health services, substance use disorder treatment, and/or diversion programs for individuals in the criminal justice system.
County officials say the award is an example of the efforts between county stakeholders who want to reduce the incarceration rate of people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders, and ultimately want to divert a minimum of 120 people out of the criminal justice system within the county.
“We are excited to launch this important collaborative initiative, providing effective interventions for some of our most vulnerable citizens in Santa Barbara County,” said Director of Behavioral Wellness Alice Gleghorn.
The three-year grant will become effective this coming August.
The funding will be used to support a full-time co-response crisis intervention team which will include a sheriff’s deputy as well as a mental health provider to be able to adequately deal with community interventions, as well as to develop certain diversion services to provide accessible mental health and substance abuse services for south county juveniles and adults with behavioral health needs.
Additionally, the grant program will provide housing-related assistance with other community-based supportive services, which includes things like:
- job skills training
- case management
- civil legal services
The District Attorney, County Executive Office, Good Samaritan Shelter, Family Services Agency and the City of Goleta comprise the list of participants in this initiative that will support immediate access to sobering centers, crisis and psychiatric services instead of arrests being made, crisis intervention team field activities, and step down housing.