City Launches ‘Justice Lab’ to Provide Resources to Repeat Offenders • Long Beach Post

City officials revealed today the creation of a Justice Lab, which was launched this month and briefly announced by the mayor during his State of the City address.

Considered first of its kind, the Justice Lab aims to help residents get out of the criminal justice system by providing tools to first responders who can divert them to resources and services, according to a city release.

The lab is a partnership between the city’s Innovation Team, or i-team, and the Long Beach Public Safety Continuum, which consists of the police, fire, health and development services departments along the city prosecutor’s office. Neighborhood associations, nonprofits and residents are also involved.

The lab was developed based on people-focused data that involved 26 in-depth interviews with those who had 11 or more citations and arrests. The i-team spoke with more than 21 subject matter experts, took part in over 12 observational visits and had over 65 participants help co-create the Justice Lab’s initiatives, officials stated.

After analyzing more than 100,000 offenses over a five-year period in Long Beach, the i-team determined that 85 percent of repeat offenses were low-level misdemeanors, according to the release.

“First responders like police officers and firefighters until now have had few tools to help individuals in need, who often wind up in a deepening cycle of arrest and incarceration,” officials stated.

With the following eight initiatives, the city hopes to break the cycle of incarceration:

  • Multidisciplinary Team (MDT), will convene city and county service providers to help individuals access and navigate services like mental health, substance abuse and homeless services.
  • Clinician in Jail, in partnership between the police department and The Guidance Center, which will place a mental health professional in the jail who will assess, connect and divert individuals to care.
  • Long Beach GUIDES (Government User Integrated Diversion Enhancement System), will be led by City Prosecutor Doug Haubert and will equip first responders with information to quickly identify what services are most appropriate for residents in need.
  • Data Sharing Agreement, will establish policies and procedures regarding data-sharing among the city’s departments and enable city-based providers to access needed information to better service residents who frequently interact with the justice system.
  • Data Warehouse, part of the city’s Data Driven Justice Initiative, will bring multiple data-sets together to cross-check information about police, health, fire and other departments as well as city prosecutor’s office to coordinate much-needed wraparound services for residents.
  • CSULB Rising Scholars Education Lab, launched by formerly incarcerated students, the program will empower individuals to navigate higher education through peer support.

Expect announcements on the roll-out and the progress of the initiatives throughout the year. For more information click here

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