The National Alliance on Mental Illness Southern Oregon or NAMI says it acknowledges the county needs a new jail and is not against the idea.
However, it feels this proposed measure needed more ideas to keep people out of jail who shouldn’t be there.
For instance, a pre-diversion program like ‘CAHOOTS’ in Eugene, which stands for ‘Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets.’
A NAMI representative says the mobile response team helps deescalate mental health crises without police intervention.
“We want to keep as many people with mental illness out of jail as possible because jail is not at the best place to receive mental health services, it’s not a healing environment,” said Meesha Blair, NAMI So. Oregon.
Blair hopes if a new jail is proposed soon, a program like ‘CAHOOTS’ would be part of the goal and reduce bookings.
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia.
She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.