Drs. Scott Young and Beom Lee to Receive Three Year Award to Evaluate Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Chronic Consumer Mitigation Project

In partnership with University of South Florida, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) was awarded a three-year SMART Policing Initiative (SPI) grant titled “The Chronic Consumer Mitigation Project” totaling $635,241 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Drs. Scott Young (Principal Investigator) and Beom Lee (Co-Principal Investigator) received $132,401 to serve as the Research Partners and independently evaluate the program’s effectiveness. This project will provide individualized mental health and support services to help reduce recidivism among offenders with repeated incarcerations and multiple involuntary commitments. PCSO will develop and deploy a mental health unit that includes Navigators and deputies who have behavioral health expertise. The deputies will be in plainclothes and outfitted with unmarked vehicles to reduce the stigma associated with law enforcement contact. Navigators will regularly review PCSO calls for service and reports to identify appropriate cases for the mental health unit. Navigators will also provide intensive case management to identified participants to help optimize their access to behavioral health services, and to help reduce their subsequent contacts with law enforcement.