Vincent Atchity, Executive Director of Equitas, was published in the September/October issue of Sheriff & Deputy. The article is titled “Sheriffs Lead the Way: Law enforcement’s advocacy is crucial to helping people with mental and behavioral disorders be productive members of society”. Mr. Atchity explores the intersection between mental health and the justice system, stating that sheriffs and deputies can be powerful advocates in their communities for this population.
The article begins by exploring current trends within the U.S.
The United States has only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s jail and prison populations.
Vincent Atchity, Executive Director of Equitas
However, of this population, a significant percentage is incarcerated due mental or behavioral health issues. Atchity recommends reconsidering the way in which we manage this population, indicating that diversion programs and crisis intervention training for first responders could greatly help the current situation.
… we can get a lot closer to health, justice, and prosperity if we properly coordinate our priorities, efforts, and resources.
Atchity’s article aligns greatly with the work being done by Equitas within communities around the country. Equitas is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is committed to disentangling the nation’s management of mental health from the criminal justice system. Equitas hosts Course Corrections Summits across the nation to put a spotlight on health and justice leaders, providing them with a platform for envisioning more just and prosperous communities. Summit participants create a shared language and set of directives for advocacy and operational culture change via a unique publishing and co-authorship model. Course Corrections documents support the vision of Equitas, which is to have an America that prioritizes personal liberty and the fulfillment of human potential over punishment and confinement.