NIC’s Becoming Trauma Informed: An Essential Element for Justice Settings Now Available for Viewing

Experiencing or exposure to traumatic events during childhood and continuing into adulthood is all too common. Less known is that trauma is a dominant factor in the lives of individuals involved with the criminal justice system; in what occurs while in the system; and in how transitioning and living in the community is impacted.

With this increasing awareness, criminal justice professionals are considering what this means in their correctional settings, how to manage this population, and provide effective services. Often overlooked is the challenge of staff who are also affected by trauma in their personal and work lives, as organizational stress and trauma create additional challenges for the workplace.

In this Community Services Division-sponsored webinar series, NIC’s Maureen Buell facilitates a stimulating discussion featuring Stephanie Covington, PhD, of the Center for Gender and Justice and Nena Messina, PhD of Envisioning Justice Solutions. This dynamic three part webinar series focuses on the following topics:

1) The Association between ACEs and Criminal Justice Involvement;

2) Trauma Informed Treatment and Theory; and

3) Becoming Trauma Informed and Moving to Trauma Responsive.

As demand outpaced the limited number of registrations, the linked content is now streaming and shareable. The linked content includes the downloadable recorded sessions, a list of resources referenced during the presentations, and a Q&A document that memorializes questions brought up in the chat.

By accessing this robust series you will explore the issues, find helpful answers, and learn from subject matter experts. Below are testimonials from webinar participants. We think you will agree!

Thank you for a wonderful informative presentation.

Thank you, great information I can take to my job.

Thank you for this great webinar and resources. Looking forward to next week’s as well.

Here is the link to the webinar:
https://nicic.gov/series/becoming-trauma-informed-essential-element-justice-settings

Running 4 Heroes Marches Forward

Running 4 Heroes started with a kid, an appreciation for our first responders, and a mission to raise awareness and funds for those fallen in the line of duty.  Zechariah’s first ever mile was for fallen City of Davis Police Department Officer Natalie Corona. He ran that mile back on 1/12/19 at just 10-years (and 3-months) of age. That run started what would become “Running 4 Heroes, Inc.”  



Zechariah Cartledge was born with the gift of running.  He was raised with an appreciation for first responders and all they do for the community.  As he grew older, Zechariah decided to help the families of our fallen first responders in a meaningful way.  Encouraged by the mission and vision of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Zechariah began his journey raising funds for those families by running.

Every run begins and ends with a prayer.

In 2019, Running 4 Heroes officially became a non-profit 501(c)(3).  Zechariah runs one mile for every First Responder who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  He wants to honor those who gave up their life so we may live in a better world.

The Board of Directors was put in place in 2019 and has served this organization well. The following individuals comprise the Running 4 Heroes Board of Directors.

Zechariah Cartledge – Founder of Running 4 Heroes

Zechariah Cartledge has always had a deep respect for First Responders, and developed a passion for running when he was only 5 years old. At the age of 7, Zechariah began competing in various 5k events around the community. In October of 2017, Zechariah ran in the Tunnel to Towers 5k in Orlando, FL. This run proved to be a turning point for Zechariah and the spark that created Running 4 Heroes.

During this run, Zechariah had the opportunity to run with dozens of First Responders, many of whom ran the race in their full gear. From that point forward, Zechariah knew he wanted to keep running with and for our First Responders. Originally, his mission set out to honor a fallen 9/11 Police Officer named Walwyn Stuart, while raising money for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Zechariah spent all of 2018 honoring this fallen hero in his various races and ended up raising over $11,000 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

It was at the end of 2018 when he heard about how many Police Officers lost their lives in the line of duty that year. Knowing that the number of miles he ran in 2018 was nearly the same amount of miles as Officers lost in 2018, Zechariah set out on a mission to run 1-mile in 2019 for every Officer lost in the line of duty from the prior year and to raise $100 for each Officer for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

However, just 2-weeks into 2019, Zechariah heard how more Officers had already lost their lives in the lines of duty in the current year, so he decided to add an additional mile for every Officer lost in 2019, but for them, he would run those miles carrying the Blue Line Flag in their honor.

Currently, Zechariah has run over 240 miles in 2019 and has raised over $51,000 for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

That decision to honor our fallen heroes has led to the creation of the Running 4 Heroes 501(c)(3), which sets out to honor every First Responder lost in the line of duty as well as support those injured First Responders whose injuries were duty-related.

Chad Cartledge – President & CEO of Running 4 Heroes

Chad Cartledge has helped create the mission of Running 4 Heroes as a way to show support for his son, Zechariah, and the efforts Zechariah puts in to honoring our fallen heroes. While Chad is not a runner himself, he has experience in Theater and a degree from the University of Central Florida in Radio/Television/Communication. Chad uses his experience in his day-to-day duties for the Foundation. Some of his tasks include maintaining the Running 4 Heroes social media channels, emceeing the 1-mile tribute runs that Zechariah puts on for the fallen, and maintaining the day-to-day budgeting of Running 4 Heroes, just to name a few.

Tim Nazzaro – Secretary of Running 4 Heroes

Tim Nazzaro comes to the Board of Directors with 23 years of law enforcement experience in the Central Florida area.  His last 21 years have been with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando. He currently holds the rank of Sergeant and  supervises the field training of newly hired deputies in the Patrol division. Tim is a graduate of the State University of New York at Delhi, where he earned a degree in Architectural Technologies.

Tim is also a bagpiper who plays with The Pipes and Drums of OCSO, and has routinely helped honor fallen heroes during Zechariah’s runs with his piping.

Chris Sileo – Director, Marketing for Running 4 Heroes

Chris Sileo has a long history of public service and a track record of appreciation for First Responders. His family holds many members who are current or former Sheriff Officers, Deputies, Military Veterans, Government Employees, and more. Chris has seen the daily deluge these First Responders go through and has made it a goal to give back in every way possible.

Chris owns Awake Marketing Agency, which does work for many non-profits, small businesses, and others. He is also a REALTOR® and gives back a portion of his commission directly to his First Responder clients.

Chris was an early supporter of Zechariah and his Tunnel to Towers mission, and is now honored and humbled to serve on the Board of Directors for the Running 4 Heroes organization.

Jason Stubler – Director of Running 4 Heroes

Jason Stubler is an Illinois native with a passion of Honoring fallen police officers. He is veteran police leader with nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience. He currently serves as a Police Commander for a large suburban Police Department outside of Chicago, Illinois. His responsibilities include the management of Patrol Division and oversees the department’s Honor Guard Unit. He holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Lewis University. He is also a bagpiper for the Bagpipes and Drums of the Emerald Society Chicago Police Department.

Charlene “Charlee” Jennings – Director of Running 4 Heroes

Charlene “Charlee” Jennings is a police officer in Texas. She has spent most of her life in the South Plains area of Texas. Charlee enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at the age of 18 and received an honorable discharge after a deployment to Iraq and Africa. She then went on to serve the public as a parking control officer, then a jailer in the city holding facility, and now as a police officer in the Texas panhandle. She is a 10 year veteran with the department serving as a property crimes detective.

Charlee has a passion for public service, and has been heavily involved with Toys for Tots while in the Marine Corps, and is currently involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for the Special Olympics. She assisted in organizing the LETR along with other essential logistics for the organization. Charlee is also a loving mom and loving wife to her Police Officer husband.

Jeffrey Taylor – Director & Treasurer of Running 4 Heroes

Jeffrey Taylor is a native of the Ozark Mountain region and lives in Central Florida with his children. He is a licensed CPA in the State of FL, a Licensed CMA, and a member of the AICPA and IMA.

Prior to becoming a Communications Soldier in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, Jeffrey worked as an HVAC technician in a family business, a firefighter, and a concrete finisher. The Army provided opportunities to cross function, where he rotated through roles in logistics, machine-gun paratrooper, and signal battalion medic.  Jeffrey also volunteered his time with local schools and helped soldiers prepare their taxes pro-bono.  After his honorable discharge from the Army, Jeffrey obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Master’s degree in Accountancy from Stetson University.

In early 2010, Jeffrey was appointed to the IRS Special Enforcement Unit in Maitland, Florida as a field agent.  Working with FICPA, Florida’s DBPR, and the FL Board of Accountancy, he was influential in driving change to the FL CPA requirements in 2012.  After approximately a decade of enforcement work, he transferred to DOD to audit defense contracts and start @CPA, LLC – an accounting firm that specializes in tax resolution and compliance engagements.

Jeffrey met Zechariah and Chad during a compliance engagement for the charitable organization and was impressed to see what a great job they were doing.  After realizing that Zechariah has a better patch and award collection than most children his age have baseball cards, Jeffrey gladly signed on to support the mission by providing treasury services and monitoring compliance with federal and state regulations.

Camrin Northrop – Director of Running 4 Heroes

Camrin Northrop comes from a small town in upstate New York and currently resides in South Carolina. He is a Captain for the Shaw Air Force Base Fire Department (USAF AD), a Lieutenant for the Sumter County SC Fire Department, and the director of safety for the Sumter Speedway. Camrin is certified to the Fire Officer 3 level and is always seeking avenues for further professional development.

He has been in the fire protection field for 10 years and has served overseas in an undisclosed location as a firefighter for 6 months with the USAF. He is an active member in the community and loves helping others in many different capacities, including as a mentor for local schools, which he has been doing since 2017. Camrin is honored to be part of the Running 4 Heroes mission!

Sadly, Zechariah has added 791 more miles since that very first tribute mile run just shy of two years ago. One thing remains true, Natalie’s story continues to inspire Zechariah to march forward with this mission in memory of Officer Corona and all others lost in the Line of Duty.

Today, we remember her on this two-year anniversary of her End of Watch (1/10/19).

Help us in honoring our fallen First Responders.

Running 4 Heroes is always looking for volunteers across America to help in our mission of bringing some joy to the families who have lost their loved one in the line of duty.  Please consider joining us in our mission. For more information on volunteering, visit https://running4heroes.org/volunteer/

Law Enforcement Appreciation Day: A Day to Say ‘Thanks’

Across the country on January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

Law Enforcement Officers of every rank and file have chosen a profession that puts their life on the line every day for their communities.  They’ve answered a call to public service that is demanding and often unappreciated.

From local, state, and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them. Often law enforcement are the only paid emergency resource a community has. More often they work in coordination with other local, state, and federal organizations to make communities safer.

On National Law Enforcement Day, we have an opportunity to thank them for their service and offer a token of respect.

HOW TO OBSERVE #LawEnforcementAppreciationDay

There are several ways to show your support. Send a note of thanks to your local, county or state police agency. Wear blue, turn your social media channels blue or shine a blue porch light to show your support. Find more ideas at Concerns of Police Survivors and share your support using #NationalLawEnforcementAppreciationDay to share on social media.  

NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAY HISTORY

Several organizations came together to create National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day in 2015 to thank officers across the country for all the daily sacrifices they make for their communities. This holiday was triggered by the chain of events in 2014, when a police officer was involved in a crossfire shooting in Missouri. The backlash and violence that followed this event led Concerns of Police Survivors(C.O.P.S.) to take the initiative to change this negative portrayal of police officers in the news in recent years into a positive one.

Some of the organizations supporting the observance include:

  • FBI National Academy Associates
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • International Association of Chief of Police
  • Officer Down Memorial Page
  • Law Enforcement United
  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
  • International Conference of Police Chaplains
  • National Troopers Coalition

Since then the inaugural celebration, nationwide many more organizations have joined forces to support National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (L.E.A.D.) to spread encouragement and respect to these dedicated men and women.

A LITTLE LAW ENFORCEMENT HISTORY

1636  – Policing in Colonial America had been very informal, based on a for-profit, privately funded system that employed people part-time. Towns also commonly relied on a “night watch” in which volunteers signed up for a certain day and time, mostly to look out for fellow colonists engaging in prostitution or gambling. (Boston started one in 1636, New York followed in 1658 and Philadelphia created one in 1700.)    

1838 – ​The first publicly funded, organized police force with officers on duty full-time was created in Boston.

1844 – New York City establishes a municipal police force.

1857 – New York leads the way with adopting the first detective unit.

1905 – Pennsylvania becomes the first state to establish a state police force, as recommended by Theodore Roosevelt to help control the numerous labor riots going on in the state’s hill country.

1920s – Berkeley, California’s police force gets ahead of the curve by adopting centralized and consistent training, communications, and order throughout its police force.

1933​ – T​he Bayonne​, New Jersey​ Police Department ​​initiated the first regular two-way police radio communication in patrol cars.

NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION DAYS AROUND THE WORLD

Around the world, police officers and rangers watch over and protect their communities. In return, this is how their hard work is celebrated!

  • Armenia Police Workers Day – A day to commemorate the Police of Armenia personnel. It’s celebrated on April 16.
  • Canada – Police and Peace Officers National Memorial DayMembers of the Canadian law enforcement are honored. It is observed on the last Sunday of September
  • China – The Day of the People’s Armed Police, created as a result of sharing of power between the Ministry of Public Security and the People’s Liberation Army, and is commemorated June 19
  • Egypt National Police Day – The lives of 50 police officers who were killed after refusing British demands on January 25, 1952 are paid tribute to each year on January 25.
  • Romania Police Day – The holiday celebrates the flag of the Romanian Police and everything it stands for on March 25 each year.

LAW ENFORCEMENT FACTS

  • There are more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States, which is the highest figure ever. About 12 percent of those are female.

  • Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1786, there have been more than 22,000 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, there are 22,217 names engraved on the walls of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

  • A total of 1,627 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the past 10 years, an average of one death every 54 hours or 163 per year. There were 135 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2019.

  • According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report 2018 LEOKA report:
    There have been 58,866 assaults against law enforcement officers in 2018, resulting in 18,005 injuries.

  • The 1920s were the deadliest decade in law enforcement history, when a total of 2,517 officers died, or an average of almost 252 each year. The deadliest year in law enforcement history was 1930, when 312 officers were killed. That figure dropped dramatically in the 1990s, to an average of 163 per year.

  • The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 72 officers were killed while responding to the terrorist attacks on America.

  • The New York City Police Department has lost more officers in the line of duty than any other department, with 941 deaths. Texas has lost 1,772 officers, more than any other state. The state with the fewest deaths is Vermont, with 24.

  • There are 1,181 federal officers listed on the Memorial, as well as 720 correctional officers and 44 military law enforcement officers.
  • There are 365 female officers listed on the Memorial; 11 female officers were killed in 2019.

 

Information was pulled from several websites, including:

National Police Foundation https://www.policefoundation.org/

National Day Calendar https://nationaldaycalendar.com/

National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Fund https://nleomf.org/

Officer Down https://officerdown.us/

United States Department of Justice https://www.justice.gov/

Time Magazine https://time.com/

Register for Promoting Wellness and Resiliency in Correctional Staff Webinar

Do you want to see what some of the latest data and promising practices are revealing about staff wellness for corrections officers and staff? Would you like to learn how to apply a holistic approach to your workplace along the continuum of preventive to reactive responses?

If you answered “Yes” to either of these questions, plan to participate in the one-hour-long Promoting Wellness and Resiliency in Correctional Staff Webinar, set for ​1 p.m. February 2.

Correctional staff face significant stress and challenges in maintaining wellness and resiliency in the workplace. There is emerging evidence that effective strategies and programs exist; however, they often occur in a piecemeal or sporadic fashion. This webinar provides academic insight into the current research on officer wellness and references emerging areas of innovative practices.

It includes practitioner expertise on valuable resources and support for correctional officers and staff. We will move from preventive to reactive strategies and build on new approaches to increase resiliency.

Participants will learn what research and practice tell us about the short and long-term effects that working in corrections can have and how to promote staff wellness and manage trauma in response to what they experience.

Learning Objectives : During this one-hour interactive webinar, participants will

1) develop an understanding of the current research on correctional staff wellness and resiliency,

2) learn how to apply a holistic approach to their workplace, and

3) gain knowledge on promising real-world practices that can assist and promote both wellness and resiliency.

Speakers

Dr. Hayden Smith is an Associate Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina. His principal focus of study is the intersection of the criminal justice and public health systems. Core areas include self-injurious and suicidal behaviors in incarcerated populations, physical and mental health needs in correctional settings, jail diversion, reentry initiatives, and correctional staff well-being and safety. Dr. Smith has expertise in program evaluation and policy analysis and has worked with numerous correctional and health systems.

Ms. Karin Ho is the Director for Victim Services with the South Carolina Department of Corrections. She has more than 30 years of victim advocacy experience and over 25 years in corrections. Recognizing how correctional staff were affected by traumatic events, she implemented the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Peer Team and Post Critical Incident Seminars for employees with ongoing trauma-related issues. As part of the CISM Team, Karin is the handler for a specially trained trauma dog who responds to correctional staff throughout the state.

The presenters have engaged in several academic-practitioner partnerships that address correctional officer and staff well-being.

Who Should Attend ?

Any employee of a state, federal or local correctional jurisdiction.

How Do I Register ?

Follow this link to register in NIC’s WebEx Event Center: 
https://nicmeetings.webex.com/nicmeetings/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0f972cfffb0d108afe22ad03ebacadfc

For content and technical information, contact Scott W. Richards, Correctional Program Specialist, NIC Prison’s Division at s1richards@bop.gov

How Do I Participate Effectively In a WebEx Event Center Webinar? How Do I Get Ready ?

  • For the best experience in your next NIC WebEx Event Center webinar, you’ll need a hands-free telephone, headset or earbuds, and an internet-enabled computer.
  • For optimum learning, be in a quiet place, free from distractions/interruptions, sight-and-sound separated from others, where you can concentrate on what is happening during the webinar. A separate office space with a door to close is an ideal setting.
  • Connect to the webinar audio bridge via a hands-free telephone, using earbuds/headset connected to your phone/cell phone, so your hands are free to interact with your keyboard.
  • While tablets and smartphones are also compatible with WebEx Events Center, several of the features are limited, and most devices require the installation of the Cisco WebEx app.
  • Regardless of which device you plan to use, test its compatibility here. The link provides a quick test, and we strongly encourage you to do this before the webinar.
  • If your browser does not pass the test, contact Webex Technical Support at 1-877-669-1782 and tell them you will be attending an NIC webinar on NIC’s Webex site at http://nicmeetings.webex.com . They can help you troubleshoot connectivity issues.
  • NIC strongly recommends consulting with your agency/local IT , as you may encounter pop-up blocking and/or firewall issues that block the NIC Webex webinar url.


Click https://nicic.gov/webinar-vilt-readiness for further information on NIC’s live webinars, including (cost = free!), how to obtain training credit from your agency, and much more.

Blue Help to Honor All Emergency Responders

Over the years, we have had submissions from the families of all #firstresponders, not just law enforcement. In an effort to honor all first responders we have lost to suicide, Blue H.E.L.P. will now collect the information for all suicides, any duty status, any year. What does this mean?

It means that we will place the photo and memorial of any #firefighters, #policeofficers, #correctionsofficer, #emergencyservices personnel and #dispatchers on our memorial wall forever remembering their service.

It means that we will track any and all first responder suicides that are submitted to us, we will no longer restrict our honor wall to #lawenforcement.

All information will continue to remain confidential unless we have permission to share from the families. We believe it is important for you to see the number of verified suicides, whether you know their identities is up to the family; we only post personal information with their permission. We do not contact or “cold call” families, we wa​​it for them to reach out to us. Their privacy and ability to grieve properly is of the utmost importance to us, we are counting every death, but we are only sharing the personal details if the family’s request it, matter how public the death.

We encourage you to let us know what you know so we can continue to raise #suicideawareness

Our History

Blue H.E.L.P. began in 2015 after The Price They Pay was written by two of it’s founders; Karen Solomon and Jeffrey McGill. It became clear to Karen, Jeff and Steve Hough that suicide prevention and care for the families afterward was not offered in law enforcement; compassion and understanding took a backseat to stigma and shame. In 2017, they incorporated and received their 501(c)3 designation and are now the only organization in the country that collects law enforcement suicide data and regularly supports families in the aftermath.

To submit a name or for more information visit https://bluehelp.org/honor-wall/submit/

New St. Louis Program to Divert Mental Health Calls Away From 911

Volunteer community health worker Ryan Smith heads out with a goodbye to St. Louis police officer Gary Ruffin as their shift ends December 9. As part of a pilot program ​in north St. Louis to get social services to crime victims, seven volunteers are riding with policer officers on their shifts. They respond to calls where people are facing traumatic events. Photo by Robert Cohen.

 

If all goes according to plan, thousands of 911 calls beginning this month will not reach St. Louis police or fire personnel.

Calls involving pe​​ople with mental health issues, or in a mental crisis, may instead be diverted to specially trained behavioral health professionals.

Tiffany Lacy Clark, COO of the contractor involved in the program, Behavioral Health Response, said the broader goals of the program are to relieve police and EMS workers from responding to many mental health crises, to prevent people undergoing a crisis from going to jail or the hospital, and to help people obtain behavioral health services when needed.

Lacy Clark called the program “cutting edge” and a “tremendous positive collaboration” among the city, police, mental health providers and others.

St. Louis will be the first city in the U.S. to divert such calls outside the 911 system, officials said.

“We’re very excited about it,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said last month.

The new initiative will have two parts: 911 diversion and a co-responder program.

911 diversion

911 calls involving a mental health concern typically end up with a response by police or an ambulance, and often “neither is really the appropriate place,” said Lacy Clark.

In the 911 diversion program, dispatchers will be trained to send calls that don’t involve imminent health or safety concerns to Behavioral Health, which already offers telephone counseling and mobile outreach services.

Wilford Pinkney Jr., Krewson’s director of Children, Youth and Families, said as many as 5,000 calls could be diverted this way a year.

Krewson said the city handles roughly 700,000 calls to 911 per year, although only about a third result in someone being dispatched, due to the number of duplicate calls that are received for some incidents, and other factors.

The program could save money but Krewson said that is not the primary aim. “The goal is to have a better, more appropriate person responding,” she said, and allow emergency responders to do “what they’re most trained for.”

Both Krewson and Lacy Clark said police were looking forward to the program. Calls involving mental health problems are difficult, take considerable time and place officers in situations they’re not trained for, they said.

Pinkney, a former New York City police officer, said officers are generally young and “don’t have the life experience to deal with many of these issues.” Calls for a mental disorder or breakdown can be traumatic for officers and victims as well, he said.

Lacy Clark said those with mental health issues sometimes don’t respond well to authority figures or people in uniforms. Often they are contending with paranoia or have had trauma in the past that they associate with police, she said. People who are having those kinds of episodes have typically fallen away from available social services or have stopped taking their medication, she said.

“We have essentially made the criminal justice system and law enforcement officers mental health providers without the training and resources to do that successfully,” Lacy Clark said.

Krewson said not every call with a mental health concern will be diverted, and authorities may not know what is needed until they arrive at the scene. If there is a safety or public health issue, police and EMS would respond, perhaps with a co-responder showing up with them, or later.

Co-responders

The rollout of the co-responder program follows years of work.

Lacy Clark said she and others, including a staffer from the mayor’s office, began working in 2017 on ways to better provide mental health services and keep those suffering a mental crisis out of the criminal justice system. Pinkney, she said, “was the catalyst we really needed” to pull all the people together, and his police background allowed him to “speak the same language” as officers.

Pinkney said they looked at other programs around the country including in Houston, Phoenix and Charleston, South Carolina. There have also been two pilot programs run in the police department’s Sixth District in north St. Louis. The pilots, originally called “cops and clinicians,” paired police with volunteer mental health workers, substance abuse counselors and others who helped connect victims of crime with social services.

Krewson said that after the trials, officials decided, “We really need to make this a part of the system … to fund it.”

At Krewson’s request in June, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment shifted $860,000 to the program from the budget for the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, also known as the workhouse, amid a decline in the jail population.

In October, the board approved a contract with Behavioral Health Response.

Co-responders will be trained behavioral health professionals who will work in partnership with officers, Lacy Clark said, and will cover the entire city. Their primary focus is behavioral health support and referral, but they will also respond to domestic violence calls and other traumatic situations to “make sure the people on the scene are OK and connected to additional support.”

Krewson said that when someone is in a mental health crisis, it means “all the social systems have failed. That ends up in a 911 call.”

She said the city needs more money for mental health services, crisis services and substance abuse treatment.

“When you’re in the middle of so much trauma … and a pandemic and so many people out of work,” Krewson said, “there’s a lot of stress out there and we’re seeing this come out in so many ways.”

In 2019, a mentally ill man had an encounter with police and EMS at a St. Louis bus stop that led to his hospitalization and, later, his death. He was a former client of Lacy Clark’s when she worked for Places for People, a provider of mental health services.

The Post-Dispatch examined the man’s medical and treatment records after his death, with the permission of his father, and wrote about Julius Graves last September.

“The situation with Julius was exactly why we wanted to do this,” Lacy Clark said, so that police dispatchers can recognize a situation and officials can respond differently, “to save someone in that circumstance so they don’t get tased or arrested and (instead) end up in clinical services where they’re supposed to be.”

 

By Robert Patrick | St. Louis Today

Former Miller County Sheriff Dies of COVID-19

Former Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott has died following a battle with COVID 19. According to a member of the family, the former Sheriff was placed on a ventilator on December 17th.

Though he made progress, he developed a second infection on the 28th. He passed away on Monday, January 4.

Sheriff Abbott spent more than 16 serving the residents of Miller County. He was first appointed to the office in April 1999 and retired in December 2016.

During his time as sheriff, he was instrumental in forming the Mid-Missouri Drug Task Force and establishing policies and procedures for deputy conduct.

Before his election as sheriff, he served in the Missouri National Guard for 22 years. There he held a variety of positions, including a motor vehicle operator, materials handler, and armory sergeant for the 135th Maintenance Unit.

In 2019, Governor Mike Parson appointed Sheriff Abbott to to the Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund Board of Trustees.

This is what current Sheriff Louie Gregoire had to say about the former Sheriff Abbott:

“It is with a heavy heart, that we regret to inform everyone of the passing of retired Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott. Bill was a wonderful man who loved his community and family. My staff and I will miss him, and our prayers are with his family.”

KRMS 
Photo provided by the Abbott family

Marion County Sheriff Shares Consequences of Bearing Costs of State Prisoners

In this file photo a Marion County corrections serves supper to inmates through the pod door chuckholes. Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn said the Missouri Department of Correction owes the county more than $200,000 for housing state prisoners.  Courier-Post file photo.

 

Missouri counties paid approximately $41 million in incarceration costs for state prisoners last year, according to an audit released Wednesday by State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Marion County Sheriff Jimmy Shinn, was not surprised by the audit results. Shinn said as of Dec. 11 the state owed Marion County $201,615 for housing state prisoners and then transporting them to prison.

“The problem is not getting any better,” Shinn said. “Sheriffs across the state fight this on a yearly basis. This makes it very difficult to budget revenues because we do not know when the state is going to pay or how much.”

The findings were discovered during an audit of the state’s County Reimbursement Program, which is administered by the Missouri Department of Corrections. The program is responsible for the reimbursement of county governments for certain costs associated with the housing and transporting of state prisoners.

The audit found that a combination of delayed reimbursements due to a lack of state funding and increasing incarceration costs have delayed the reimbursement of counties.

“Local taxpayers are footing the bill because the state has not been keeping up its end of the deal and the cost of incarcerating state prisoners is increasing,” Galloway said in a media release. “This is an issue throughout Missouri, but is particularly concerning for smaller communities where revenue is especially limited.”

According to Shinn, the Department of Corrections reimburses counties at a rate of $21.58 per day for state inmates.

“That is nowhere close to what it costs to house them here. This rate is set by our state with no negotiation,” he said. “Our estimate is it costs us approximately $45 per day for housing, meals, staff, etc. to house an inmate at this facility.”

According to the audit’s findings the reimbursement rate paid by the state has kept up with inflation over the past 10 years, but it is essentially the same as the rate paid in 1998, despite the fact that incarceration costs have continued to increase. Based on actual costs a more realistic reimbursement fee would be $49 a day, auditors said in the report.

There are some state prisoners for which a county will never see a cent of reimbursement.

“If a subject is charged with a state crime they could sit in the Marion County’s jail for six months because they can’t post bond, then courts put them on probation. We do not get monies from the state for this,” Shinn said. “We only get monies from the state when a subject hits the Department of Corrections.”

According to the audit, as of June 30, 2020, the state owed about $31 million to counties that it did not have the appropriation authority to pay. In fiscal year 2021, the General Assembly approved $52 million for county reimbursements, which includes $9.75 million for unpaid reimbursements. Galloway said that amount would address only about one third of the outstanding claims still owed to counties.

The audit found that the Department of Corrections has not requested sufficient funds to pay the outstanding reimbursement claims and past budget requests haven’t included information about the previous years’ shortfalls. Auditors recommended that the department request the money necessary to pay all obligations and ensure the financial history of the program is included so the legislators have an understanding of how much is owed to county governments.

“I have tried to speak with our (state) representative and senator frequently and express our issues with this budget problem. I have done this for several years now. They both are well aware of this,” Shinn said.

Auditors surveyed counties to better understand the impact of low reimbursement rates and delayed payments. According to these local officials, issues with state reimbursements resulted in not having enough revenue to cover jail costs and, as a result, having to reduce other services or increase local tax rates. Additionally, lack of revenue leads to difficulty in hiring new sheriffs’ employees due to low salaries or lack of equipment.

Shinn said that overall, through 2020, the Marion County Jail has generated over $900,000 in prisoner board bills. This includes fees paid by neighboring counties that ​​house inmates in the Palmyra facility, the state reimbursements and through federal inmate housing reimbursements.

“We are hopeful and optimistic that these relationships continue as we know and understand that this affects the overall budget for Marion County,” the sheriff said.

​By ​Danny Henley​ | Hannibal Courier Post​

Auditor Galloway Says Jail Reimbursement Program Costing Missouri Counties Millions

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway says a jail reimbursement program is costing counties millions.

She released an audit of the County Reimbursement Program on Wednesday. The program reimburses county governments for certain costs for housing and transporting state prisoners. The program is administered by the Missouri Department of Corrections. The audit found a combination of delayed reimbursements due to lack of state funding and increasing incarceration costs has resulted in the necessity for counties to rely on local resources.

“Local taxpayers are left footing the bill because the state has not been keeping up its end of the deal and the cost of incarcerating state prisoners is increasing,” Auditor Galloway said. “This is an issue throughout Missouri, but is particularly concerning for smaller communities where revenue is especially limited. Our audit clearly outlines the facts and details the problems with this program so that the legislature can evaluate the information and make changes.”

Under state law, counties can be reimbursed for criminal costs, prisoner transportation and extradition costs for state prisoners. Counties submit claims throughout the year for these expenses and the Department of Corrections processes these payments on a first come, first served basis. However, state appropriations have not been sufficient to cover reimbursement claims.

As of June 30, the state owed about $31 million to counties it did not have the appropriation authority to pay. In fiscal year 2021, the General Assembly approved $52 million for county reimbursements, which includes $9.75 million for unpaid reimbursements. This addresses about a third of the outstanding claims still owed to counties.

The audit reported the Department of Corrections has not requested sufficient funds to pay the outstanding reimbursement claims and past budget requests haven’t included information about the previous years’ shortfalls. The audit recommended that the department request the money necessary to pay all obligations and ensure the financial history of the program is included so that legislators have an understanding of how much is owed to county governments.

Additionally, while the reimbursement rate paid by the state has kept up with inflation over the last 10 years, it is essentially the same as the rate paid in 1998. During this time incarceration costs have continued to increase. The state provides a reimbursement of $22.58 per day, but actual costs average closer to $49 a day. The increasing difference means counties have to subsidize the cost of housing these prisoners. The audit found that counties subsidized an estimated $41 million in incarceration costs for state prisoners during the 2020 fiscal year.

Auditors surveyed counties to better understand the impact of low reimbursement rates and delayed payments. According to these local officials, issues with state reimbursements resulted in not having enough revenue to cover jail costs and, as a result, having to reduce other services or increase local tax rates. Additionally, lack of revenue leads to difficulty in hiring new sheriffs’ employees due to low salaries or lack of equipment.

The audit also found inconsistencies in the law related to reimbursements. Under the law, the state reimbursement rate can go up to $37.50 a day, but is subject to appropriations. However, there are varying interpretations of the statute because this language is not consistent with how reimbursements are set (on a per day basis) and how state funds are appropriated (by year). The audit recommended that the legislature amend the statute to clarify the intent of the law so local officials can better understand what to expect from the state reimbursements.

The complete audit report is available here.

By KY3 staff | KY3.com