A Virtual Zine Project
c/o Project Nia & Interrupting Criminalization

Explore snapshots of community-based safety strategies that expand our ideas about what keeps us safe.

One Million Experiments is...

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Experiments updated at the beginning of the month. Follow @interruptcrim for news.


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Authors: Taleed El-Sabawi & Jennifer J. Carroll
Based, in part, on a decades-old model employed in Eugene, Oregon, called Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets, or CAHOOTS.

While advocates may have identified model programs that they hope will be the answer to defunding the police, many community organizers lack the legal training necessary to fully develop these models into policy proposals that institutionalize their visions in ways that protect against law enforcement co-option and make their visions a reality. This article proposes model Act (the Model Behavioral Health Response Team Act) that can be tailored to meet the needs of local and state policymakers endeavoring to create a new institution to replace the police in responding to mental health, substance use, and housing crisis.  The institution created by this model act is evidence-based, person-centered, and community-driven. It is informed by empirical evidence on crisis response, federal guidelines, and a case-study of political activity motivated by the use of police excess of force that resulted in the death of a Black man in Greensboro, N.C.

We provide a sample sign-on letter and model legislation, creating a non-law enforcement administered and staffed emergency response team equipped to handle mental health, substance use (collectively, “behavioral health”) and housing crises.

Excerpted From: A Model for Defunding: An Evidence-Based Statute for Behavioral Health Crisis Response