A group photo of attendants at the Pre-Arrest Diversion Learning Collaborative meeting.
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Rulo Strategies Hosts In-Person Pre-Arrest Diversion Learning Collaborative Meeting with Representatives from Behavioral Health, Law Enforcement, and Corrections

March 27, 2024

Rulo Strategies hosts an in-person meeting as part of the Pre-Arrest Diversion Learning Collaborative, bringing together 40 representatives from behavioral health, law enforcement, and corrections.

In October 2023, Rulo Strategies, LLC, in collaboration with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Office of Forensic Coordination and the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health (TIEMH), launched the Pre-Arrest Diversion Learning Collaborative (PADLC). This innovative initiative united rural and urban agencies across Texas including law enforcement, corrections, and behavioral health sectors to enhance pre-arrest diversion practices.

While the PADLC has been hosted virtually since its beginning, on February 29th, Rulo Strategies convened an in-person session, bringing together 40 stakeholders and serving as a learning and networking platform. Associate Commissioner and State Forensic Director Dr. Jennie Simpson set the tone for the day, encouraging participants to keep in mind that, “While we're thinking about how to support people in our community, we also need to think about how we can best support each other as professionals serving our communities” stated Dr. Simpson.

Rulo Strategies facilitated discussions led by experts, covering important community topics such as co-responder programs, peer involvement in pre-arrest diversion, diversion initiatives in 9-1-1 call centers, and strategies for successful grant applications. Drawing from the theme set by Dr. Simpson, Temple Police Department Deputy Chief Mac Fairey shared moving insight into the cultural shift he noticed integrating a mental health co-responder program, noting how program implementation led to fellow officers seeking support for the day-to-day stress they encounter.

Throughout the day, participants engaged in lively discussions. They exchanged strategies for addressing common challenges through subject matter expert guidance and peer-to-peer learning for nuanced issues such as data evaluation methods and the integration of peers in criminal justice contexts. The various agencies in attendance spurred insights and ideas from multi-disciplinary perspectives.

Kelly Castillo, Crisis Response Care Coordinator for Hill Country MHDD, shared her thoughts on the event, emphasizing how it provided valuable insights into programs that could aid their community goals. Notably, she mentioned learning about CSG (Council of State Governments) Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Sites, prompting her team to draft a proposal for a visit.

Reflecting on the event's success, Rulo Strategies facilitator Rebecca Rose expressed admiration for the collaborative spirit and dedication exhibited by PADLC members. She noted their collective commitment to improving services for individuals with behavioral health needs, heralding a more effective and compassionate approach to justice and care.

Selection for PADLC participation was competitive, with communities applying as collaboratives comprising representatives from behavioral health, law enforcement, and corrections. The PADLC is set to conclude in May 2024. Interested parties can visit the Texas Behavioral Health and Justice Technical Assistance Center Learn and Engage Page for further information.

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