Arrest and Jail Alternatives Law Enforcement Grant Program

RCW 36.28A.450, to develop the Arrest and Jail Alternatives Law Enforcement Grant Program went into effect on July 28, 2019. WASPC,  in consultation with the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) National Support Bureau  (“NSB”), was tasked with the development and implementation of a grant program aimed at supporting local initiatives to properly identify criminal justice system-involved persons with substance use disorders and other behavioral health needs and engage those persons with therapeutic interventions and other services, the efficacy of which have been demonstrated by experience, peer-reviewed research, or which are credible promising practices, prior to or at the time of jail booking, or while in custody.

The anticipated outcomes that applicants will need to address are as follows:

  1. To reduce arrests, time spent in custody, and/or recidivism for clients served by the program
  2. To increase access to and utilization of non-emergency community behavioral health services
  3. To reduce utilization of emergency services
  4. To increase resilience, stability, and well-being for clients served; and
  5. To reduce costs for the justice system compared to processing cases as usual through the justice system

Over two separate solicitations, WASPC received 7 applications. All applications received a thorough review by a panel of experts on civil rights, harm reduction, community health, and law enforcement. Ultimately, two law enforcement agencies and one community based organization were funded under this grant program. WASPC is pleased to announce that $1.1 million in Arrest and Jail Alternatives Grants was awarded to local law enforcement agencies in April 2020. Click here for additional information. An additional award in the amount of $447,000 was made in August 2020.

  • Olympia Police Department: the Olympia Police Department (OPD), in partnership with Catholic Community Services Northwest (CCSNW) applied for and received funding to expand the services of their existing Familiar Faces into new areas of social need that align with the legislative goals set forth in RCW 36.28A.450. 

  • Port Angeles Police Department: The Port Angeles Police Department (PAPD), in partnership with the Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic (OPCC) applied for and received funding for their REdisCOVERY program. This program emphasizes meeting clients where they are at with the services they need most. This means that they will meet clients where they are at in life, and where they are at in the community. The use of this best practice has been greatly expanded under the AJA grant program. 

  • Comprehensive Healthcare (Walla Walla): Comprehensive Healthcare of Walla Walla (Comprehensive), in partnership with Blue Mountain Heart to Heart (BMHTH) applied for and received funding the development and implementation of an innovative community partnership program that maintains fidelity with the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) principles and program elements. While details regarding the implementation of this program are still being developed, the final program will include the provision of mental health (therapy and crisis intervention) and substance abuse (Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)) services to diversion eligible community members. 

Please note: grants awarded under this program are separate and distinct from grants awarded pursuant to RCW 36.28A.440 and SB 5380. Grant funds may not be used to fulfill minimum medical and treatment services that jails or community mental health agencies are legally required to provide.

For additional information, please contact:
Steven Briggs, NCA | Programs Coordinator
WA Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs 
[email protected] or 360.486.2389