From Crisis Response to Harm Prevention: The Role of Integrated Service Facilities

Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 388-2020

The Justice Collaborative

Data for Progress

Health in Justice Action Lab

10 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2020 Last revised: 3 Nov 2020

See all articles by Rafik Nader Wahbi

Rafik Nader Wahbi

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Community Health Sciences

Sterling Johnson

Angels in Motion

Leo Beletsky

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences; Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine

Date Written: September 3, 2020

Abstract

As things stand, many interactions with crisis response systems in the United States result in a trip to jail or an emergency room. Both of these options are costly, inefficient, and often result in the same people coming back again and again.

There is a better way: Integrated Service Facilities (ISFs) can provide an effective, less costly, and more sustainable alternative. These facilities bundle assistance for substance use, mental and behavioral health, housing, and other health, legal, and social needs. Open 24/7 and free to use, ISFs can mitigate an unfolding crisis and triage vulnerable people into longer-term systems of care. What sets ISFs apart from existing emergency response systems, however, is that they also make it their core mission to prevent crises from happening in the first place. As the United States continues to grapple with over-reliance on expensive and ineffective crisis response, ISFs provide a critical piece of a better response and prevention system.

The ISF model is a common-sense solution, so it is no surprise that it receives broad bipartisan support across the nation:

• 58% of likely voters support having ISFs in their community.
• 53% believe that ISFs would save taxpayer resources in the long run.
• 56% percent of likely voters said they would vote for a politician promising to create ISFs.
• 52% support prioritizing resources for ISFs over police and prisons, including 36% of all Republicans that responded.
• 58% would vote for a ballot measure to allocate public funds to create ISFs.

Keywords: Integrated Service Facilities, ISF

Suggested Citation

Wahbi, Rafik and Johnson, Sterling and Beletsky, Leo, From Crisis Response to Harm Prevention: The Role of Integrated Service Facilities (September 3, 2020). Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 388-2020, The Justice Collaborative, Data for Progress, Health in Justice Action Lab, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3685890

Rafik Wahbi (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Community Health Sciences ( email )

650 Charles E. Young Drive South, 36-071 CHS
Box 951772
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1772
United States

Sterling Johnson

Angels in Motion ( email )

Leo Beletsky

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-5540 (Phone)

Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

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