Investing in Community Health: How it can Save Lives and Money
The creation of a Ground Zero Unit within the detention center is my highest priority. The unit would be comprised of inmates who are addicted to drugs or alcohol and want to participate in an intensive in-house treatment program. This program is designed to prepare inmates for the transition into the comprehensive, wrap-around services provided by C-A-P (Community Action Partnerships), such as Crossroads Reno and Sober 24 facilities.
To make this possible, it will require Sheriff’s Office leadership to not only think outside the box, but to throw the box away completely! The words WE CAN’T or IT CAN’T BE DONE or WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY, can no longer consume our mindsets.
Establishing a Ground Zero unit, followed by wrap around services, are measures that must be taken if we want to see a decrease in crime and incarceration rates. As a community we must address the underlying issues which create the need to commit crime.
In order to help reduce the burden on our local medical facilities, I will ensure that the State of Nevada has a platform within the jail to identify those who are eligible for Medicaid and have them signed up prior to leaving the jail. This will allow inmates to have medical coverage upon their release and reduce uninsured medical cost to the taxpayers.
Ground Zero will serve the individual as well as the the community. Housing an inmate currently costs taxpayers $126 per day. These costs can triple if the inmate is addicted to alcohol, drugs or suffers from mental illness. The reduction in recidivism rates achieved by a detention center Ground Zero unit ultimately saves taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing the cost of housing those inmates. Ground Zero also reduces the cost of fire, police and ambulance services these individuals would have utilized. More importantly it will stop crime before it is committed, making our community a better and safer place to live.
Rehabilitation programs like Crossroads alleviate the need to incarcerate inmates and significantly reduces recidivism. A recent study showed that individuals enrolled in the Crossroads Reno program would have been in custody a combined total of 100,000 days. Based on a $126 per day housing expense, this program saves our community 12.6 million dollars per annum. Through programs like this, along with new C-A-P (Community Action Partnerships) programs, my goal is to reduce inmate days in custody an additional 200,ooo days for a total taxpayer savings of 37.8 million dollars per annum. These savings will ultimately create the funding necessary for sustainability of the Ground Zero unit.