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Proposed Sobering Center Presentation Public Safety Committee February 28, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Proposed Sobering Center Presentation Public Safety Committee February 28, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Proposed Sobering Center Presentation Public Safety Committee February 28, 2012

2 Background Information City jail operations cost $25 million per year  An estimated $4-6 million is attributed to public intoxication cases Incarcerating individuals whose only criminal behavior is public intoxication diverts law enforcement from more serious or life threatening crimes. Intoxicated individuals often pose a hazard to themselves as well as to the general public. Best practices elsewhere suggest a more cost effective/long term option approach. 2

3 3 Goals of Sobering Center Provide an alternative to jail Provide triage, observation and necessary outpatient services to manage intoxication Provide opportunities for long term treatment by linking detainees to appropriate social service agencies

4 Effects of the Sobering Center HPD field personnel will use less time processing this target population. The time savings will allow HPD field personnel to return to their assigned neighborhoods to address more serious crime and disorder problems. Will increase holding capacity in the city jail for more serious criminals. 4

5 Operational Details Officer transports person to the Sobering Center – rather than taking them to jail; judgment by officer on suitability for the Center Officer completes a one page form (approximately 10 minutes) and returns to duty; no arrest record will be made Person is identified, logged in and subjected to a health screen (similar to what is currently done in the city jail) Person is assigned to a “bed” with males and females separated Person is observed by staff until sober (minimum 4 hours) determined on case by case status When sober, the person will meet with a counselor to discuss how to address affliction(s) – link to social service agencies When sober, person without warrants is discharged When sober, person with city warrants has the option to use video arraignment (refuses option, goes to jail) then discharged 5

6 Proposed Sobering Center Location A large number of potential city-wide sites were considered based on:  Appropriate neighborhood  Accessibility for HPD and other police agencies  Recognized need to be near HPD Mental Health Unit  Availability of social services Houston acquired information from the following agencies: San Antonio “Public Safety Center” San Diego Phoenix Colorado Springs Portland, Oregon 6

7 Proposed Site Star of Hope Facility – North Downtown Private/Public Partnership 7

8 Proposed Sobering Center Concept A 10-year lease with the Star of Hope (SOH) with two 5-year options to extend:  Estimated costs for lease, utilities and staff of $1.5m/annually to be in the FY 13 budget  SOH will build out existing facility utilizing $3m of available Public Safety Bond funds based on City approval of design  City will monitor construction process and expenditures  HPD’s Mental Health Unit will co-locate on second floor of facility  Lease will be assigned to a Public/Private Partnership Center will be operated as a secular Public/Private Partnership under a service contract:  Service contract will be signed by the Public/Private Partnership and the City of Houston  HPD, Health and Human Services and HFD will provide city services at the site 8

9 Public/Private Partnership City Council authorizes the creation of a Public/Private Partnership in the form of a “Local Government Corporation” (LGC) for the Sobering Center  The mission of the LGC as a Public/Private Partnership will focus on short term treatment and intervention opportunities professionally delivered The LGC Board will be comprised of 5 members, including 4 directors and a Chair  2 City of Houston appointees  2 SOH appointees  Chair – to be selected by 4 Board Members All 5 appointees will be nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council A 501(c) (3) foundation will also be created to aid in future fundraising for operations and possible future expansion 9

10 LGC Service Contract 10 The LGC Executive Director will be the key manager, reporting directly to the LGC Board and will be responsible for all Sobering Center personnel and operations of this secular facility The facility will require health screening for entering detainees and the Health and Human Services Department will provide health screeners - which is done in jail today LGC will acquire liability insurance, directors and officer insurance and other insurance as appropriate LGC will contract with SOH for lead referral services (SOH has offered a counselor at no cost)  LGC will facilitate connections with other allied social service providers and invite their participation

11 Steps to be Taken March 7 – Advance funding request to complete construction drawings including cost estimates for planning and detailing capital improvements on City Council agenda End of April or earlier  Facility lease  Documents to create the Public/Private Partnership (LGC)  Operating agreement between the City and the Partnership to include staffing and other procedural agreements and budget basis. 11

12 Conclusion The availability of and ready access to ongoing community-based outpatient substance abuse services is a potential cost reduction and productivity improvement step for the City. The activities of the Sobering Center are fully consistent with Medical Professionals definition of the treatment of addiction as a disease. Sobering Centers in other cities have proven to be time savers for patrol officers, which allows them to quickly return to their assigned neighborhoods. With a successful link to social service agencies, there will be fewer public intoxication related calls requiring officer intervention – hence more time they can direct to other more pressing crime and disorder issues. 12

13 Questions 13

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