Ground Zero Initiative

Ground Zero Initiative

Ground Zero Initiative


Ground Zero Initiative

The “Ground Zero Initiative” has two components.  The first component is the creation of a “Ground Zero”, “Phase I” unit within the jail.  This unit will be comprised of those individuals who are drug or alcohol addicted or with mental health issues, who wish to come to terms with their addiction or mental health and who also want to break the cycle of addiction and become sober, mentally strong, productive members of society (these inmates are considered to be High Risk/High Needs meaning high risk of recidivism and high need of services).  A C-A-P (Community Action Partnerships) team will be formed to determine the best course of action as to location, implementation and staffing.  There are models for this type of unit which will provide valuable insight into the creation of this unit and will make implementation much easier. 

The implementation of the Ground Zero Unit will fall to a contracted provider that would provide a variety of therapies as well as classes and group meetings.  The goal of the unit is to prepare inmates to leave the jail with a plan for success and to make recovery more attainable and sustainable.

Upon release, inmates would either be directed to Crossroads Off Campus where the therapies started in Ground Zero unit are continued and they are breath or urine tested as frequently as twice daily for a predetermined amount of time. 

Phase I for Inmates who do not have a safe place to go upon release would be at Crossroads On Campus facility, where therapies continue, they focus on recovery and where there are a strict set of rules to follow.

Phase II through IV build on the previous phases by allowing increasingly more freedom and responsibility while completing the therapies initiated in the Ground Zero unit. 

Phase V requires a move off campus into their own home where they check in with their social worker and they can continue to attend classes on the Crossroads campus. Creating a Ground Zero unit will intercept inmates more effectively and make them more successful as they work through the program.

 I will also work to establish an officers ability to bypass the jail and take some candidates directly to an on campus location to obtain these services.  I am actively looking for a location for this program and seeking community based funding to acquire it.  I am moving forward with the creation of the CAP (Community Action Partnerships) that will directly address this solution so that starting my first day in office, we can begin implementation of this new path we have forged.

The second component of the Ground Zero Initiative is to begin implementing a renewal of the principles of Direct Supervision started in 1988 when the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office moved to the current jail.  I am convinced that these principles are the key to humane supervision and meet all the needs of CARE and CUSTODY which are the two mandates required of a jail.  These principles fit very well into the Sequential Intercept Model, by having the officers insert themselves into the lives of the inmates at every opportunity.  Crime within the jail will decrease. Deputies we be less likely to be assaulted. With proper training deputies will be able detect behavioral clues which will lead to increased intervention and a reduction in suicide attempts and other serious medical issues.

A potential component of the Ground Zero Initiative is to provide the ability for officers to bring a person directly to a magistrate at the time of arrest.  This would alleviate the need to incarcerate and would allow the arrestee to take care of the issue immediately. The arresting officer would be back on patrol much faster than if they had to process an arrestee into booking.  As your next  Washoe County Sheriff, I will advocate for the creation of this process.


To join this C-A-P (Community Action Partnerships)  team Click Here