Leveraging best practices to serve non-violent, first time offenders, increase system efficiency and promote safety & wellness.
Justice Resource Collaborating Council
This a newly forming council in spring of 2017, designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Buncombe County criminal justice system with emphasis on programs and policies that divert non-violent offenders to supportive services and community based outcomes while prioritizing public safety.
Justice Resource Coordinator
This position is being created to provide staff support to the Justice Resource Collaborating Council with system-wide approaches. The coordinator will also support the creation and operation of a Justice Resource Center.
Justice Resource Center
The Justice Resource Center will be a place where justice-involved individuals can access meaningful services and supports to help them on a path to stability. The target population is low-level, non-violent offenders, many of whom are impacted by poverty, trauma, mental illness and/or substance use disorders. Some pre-trial defendants will be able to engage in the program as a diversion option, with participation in exchange for the dismissal of charges. Services will also be available for post-conviction offenders and other justice-involved individuals. Many services will be delivered on-site, and the Justice Resource Center will be well-linked with health and human services in the community.
Our Tested Approach & Strategy
- Evidence-based, national models
- Coordinated efforts
- Data-driven decision making
- Smart partnerships
- Cost avoidance
- Reinvestment of Savings
- Protect Community Safety
- Formalize Coordination
- Invest in System Gaps
- Provide Infrastructure Support
- The rate of serious mental illness in the incarcerated population is 2 to 6 times higher than the general public.
- Nearly 70% of jail inmates meet the criteria for substance abuse.
In Buncombe County
- 51 jail beds a day are occupied by individuals receiving medical treatment for a serious mental illness
- Recidivism rates for people with mental illness are twice as high as other defendants
- Nearly 800 inmates were monitored for substance withdrawal in 2016, nearly a 30% increase from 2015
Impact on Families
- The majority of opioid users are women, and women are the fastest growing population in jail – in Buncombe County, the number of women jumped nearly 30% from 2015 to 2016.
- Nationally, 95% of women who have been incarcerated have a trauma history.
- Abuse in childhood is strongly correlated with adult victimization, substance abuse, and criminality.
- The rate of developmental and behavioral disorders in kids was higher in those whose parent went to jail versus kids who experienced a parent death or divorce.
Justice system involvement can carry lifelong impacts- even without a conviction. Such as access to…Housing, Employment, Education, and Financial Assistance. Diversion offers a path to wellness and stability for individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities.
Buncombe County Health and Human Services does not discriminate and strives to be fully inclusive. Click here to read the full non-discrimination statement.