First Responder Deflection: A Warm Handoff to Services in the Community

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Deflection initiatives are being implemented across the country as a means to connect people who have substance use disorders to needed services and do so without arrest. This seminal eCourse from JCOIN introduces deflection as a collaborative, problem-solving approach for law enforcement and other first responders, substance use treatment providers, and community partners.

Also known by names such as pre-arrest diversion or co-responder programs, deflection serves as a community-centered practice by which law enforcement/first responders make a warm handoff to treatment and services in the community for people who have experienced an overdose or who have a substance use disorder.

This course provides: information on the background and purpose of deflection; descriptions of five pathways of deflection that local communities are using to connect people to services; examples of how these deflection pathways are being implemented in a variety of community settings; resources for local leaders to begin, augment, or support deflection initiatives in their communities; and guidance for incorporating evaluation into deflection initiatives.

Goals of Course:

Provide guidance on the use of deflection, including implementation and evaluation strategies, as a means to respond to substance use disorder and opioid disorder, as an alternative to arrest.

Lessons Learned:

Differences between criminal justice diversion and community-based deflection; the context and purpose for deflection; five pathways for implementing deflection that can be adapted for different communities; starting or enhancing a deflection initiative; contemporary approaches for evaluation.

Audience:

Law enforcement, EMS, firefighters, substance use treatment providers, peer recovery organizations, crisis service providers, community leaders.

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Course Creators

Jac A. Charlier - TASC's Center for Health and Justice

Faye S. Taxman, PhD - George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government, Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!)

Amy Murphy - George Mason University George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government, Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!)

Jon Ross, PhD - TASC's Center for Health and Justice

Alina Rahman - TASC's Center for Health and Justice

Acknowledgments: Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC); Joel K. Johnson, TASC, Inc.; Daphne Baille, TASC, Inc.; Sophia Juarez, TASC's Center for Health and Justice 

Certificate of Completion: Yes

Est. Time to Complete: 90 Min.

Difficulty Level: Beginner/Basic

Course Resource Guide

Deflection serves as a community-centered practice by which law enforcement or other first responders make warm handoffs to community-based treatment and/or other services for people who have substance use or mental health disorders. Deflection presents an alternative to arresting people who might otherwise either enter the justice system or receive no assistance to address their needs.

 

The resources listed in the linked document offer information to help you dig deeper into the eCourse First Responder Deflection.

 

First Responder Deflection Course Resource Guide