LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) – Each of the four counties that applied to open Crisis Stabilization Units (CSU) will receive up to $1.6 million from the state to operate a sixteen-bed CSU facility, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced today. Those counties include Craighead, Pulaski, Sebastian and Washington.
The governor’s letter to the newly formed Interagency Criminal Justice Commission announcing the awards can be found HERE.
Act 423, which established the CSU pilot program, was a major part of Governor Hutchinson’s 2017 legislative agenda and received strong bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature. Governor Hutchinson signed it into law on March 8, 2017.
“The original plan was to select three counties, but we received four stellar applications, and so I decided to award funding to all four,” the governor said. “Each of the four counties’ submissions went above and beyond the parameters laid out in the application process, with substantial support from local leadership and the community.”
With today’s announcement that all four projects will be funded, the Governor is committing an additional $1.4 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to support Crisis Stabilization Units, in addition to the $5 million already committed to this project. The additional $1.4 million in funding will go before the Arkansas Legislative Council for final approval.
CSUs are short term clinical facilities that provide assessment and treatment services for individuals with behavioral health conditions. A primary goal of the state’s investment in CSUs is to reduce the number of people with mental illness and other behavioral health conditions entering jails or other facilities, such as emergency rooms, not designed to effectively address their underlying behavioral health conditions. CSUs have the potential to improve outcomes for people with acute behavioral health conditions and reduce overall system costs to both the state and counties, including the strain on our county jails.
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