/ Modified jul 18, 2023 3:41 p.m.

Pima County to connect people in the criminal justice system to needed services

Pima County is launching a program to connect people being released from jail with services to empower them and reduce recidivism in Pima County.

360 jail inmate A file image of a Pima County Jail inmate.
AZPM Staff

The county is helping people who were charged with non-violent misdemeanors identify barriers they may face going through the legal process and to connect them to existing services.

Justice Services Director Kate Vesely says the program is helping to fill in a gap.

“This is making other areas of our system successful because what we know is that if someone has been arrested 15 times, arresting them 16 or 17 times is not likely to change the behavior, which is ultimately what we need to do to keep our community safe,” Vesely says.

The county is collaborating with the City of Tucson and other community partners. The program began with partial services at the end of June and should be fully operational in early August when the permanent facility opens.

It’s funded with a $1 million federal grant and will be able to help as many as 150 people a month.

“We rapidly help them determine what they would like to get assistance with, whether it be housing, getting transportation, going to some sort of treatment provider, crisis services, whatever that might look like,” Vesely says.

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