Keeping people out of the system

Going to jail, even for one day, can disrupt people’s lives and have compounding impacts on them and their families. Lessening the impacts of the system’s reach on people and avoiding imprisoning communities requires keeping people out of the legal system. Keeping people out of the system requires investing in resources that prevent people from having any police contact while also dismantling core police practices that funnel individuals into the legal system revolving door. Learn more about our projects dedicated to keeping people out of the legal system below.

Featured Projects

Studying Alternatives to Jail for People in Crisis

While we envision a future where behavioral health professionals exclusively respond to crisis events in the community, in many communities, police are mostly responsible for leading this work. Keeping people out of the system whenever possible requires, at minimum, police have alternatives to arrest and other places to take people other than jail. This project considers how police-led deflection from jail and to local Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs), which provide short-term care to people in crisis, can improve individual’s access to treatment and reduce jail stays. This project also investigates when, why, and for whom police most often use their power to deflect individuals to these community-based alternatives to arrest.

Studying Solutions to Provide People Care after Crisis

Keeping individuals out of the system overtime requires individuals who experience crisis receive ongoing aftercare; however, people who receive care from CSUs rarely engage with aftercare services. This project evaluates the impacts of a mobile and technology-assisted aftercare program for individuals who recently experienced a crisis and a police referral to a CSU. It investigates how CSU aftercare programs can impact arrest rates, and ultimately the number of people who remain deflected from the system altogether.

Featured Resources


If Police Must Lead the Work, Pushing Police-Led Deflection Further


Understanding Why People Decline Police Deflections


If Police Must Lead the Work, How Police Can Educate Communities on its Importance


Care after Crisis Report

Related Projects

Related Resources

Taking a Stand: Differentiating Deflection from Diversion

Research Recap: Police-Led Deflection

Learning from Charleston's Deflection Model

Learning from Pima County's Deflection Model

Learning from Harris County's Deflection Model

Pima County's No Wrong Door Approach to People in Crisis

Implementing Alternatives for Police

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