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.

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


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[Mental Health First, Sacramento]


Location: Oakland & Sacramento, CA

Organization: Anti Police-Terror Project

Contact: aptpinfo@gmail.com

The Anti Police-Terror Project is a Black-led, multi-racial, intergenerational coalition that seeks to build a replicable and sustainable model to eradicate police terror in communities of color. We support families surviving police terror in their fight for justice, documenting police abuses and connecting impacted families and community members with resources, legal referrals, and opportunities for healing. APTP began as a project of the ONYX Organizing Committee.

︎ Does not collaborate with police
︎ Volunteer-led
︎ Offered at no cost to participants

︎ DOWNLOAD ZINE  [En Español]
The Sacramento-based Mental Health First program, which launched in January 2020, doesn’t rely on a direct connection to 911 dispatchers. Instead, it’s an independent mental health crisis response service, staffed by a team of volunteers trained to de-escalate confrontations and direct aid and resources to those experiencing potentially life-threatening psychological issues.

Right now, services are only offered on weekend nights, but the goal is to eventually answer calls every day of the week. On Friday evening, members come in and check messages and return calls made during the week. MH First responds to roughly 20 or 30 calls a month.”

When taking calls, volunteers assess the situation in terms of safety risks and confirm if police are present. If the caller appears to be in immediate danger to themselves or others, MH First will head to the scene. In cases where people need to be hospitalized, staffers can follow the individual and advocate on their behalf for as long as possible. More recently, due to Covid-19 risks, MH First has limited their interventions to phone support only; though they have more than 30 volunteers, they’ve been operating with about a third of that while services are limited.

When they pick up the phone, MH First volunteers first ask if the individual feels comfortable with providing any personal information. In crisis cases, identification requests can trigger further escalation. Communication and visibility are also important for institutions like this. Since they work separate from the police department, MH First does not have access to standard 911 dispatch services, and the group relies heavily on building community connections, regularly canvassing neighborhoods and and targeting 24-hour businesses that may need assistance.

Excerpted From: Anti Police-Terror Project