DEcouple Mental Health Services & Jail Expansion


  1. Agreement among key stakeholders for the need to build a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Care Center in Lawrence. In addition to providing an access point for the community, this Crisis Center is expected to divert 200 individuals with mental illness away from incarceration toward treatment each year.
  2. Commitment by the Lawrence Police Chief to train 100% of all officers by 2018 on how to effectively handle encounters with those in mental health crisis (approximately 76% of all officers have been through the 40-hour training).


  • Separate mental health services from jail expansion on the ballot (a decision to be determined in January 2018 by the Douglas County Commission)
  • Open a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Care Center as soon as possible without compounding problems related to growing incarceration; 
  • Improve access to mental health care through private/public collaboration.

Potential next steps may include: formalize a group working on mental health access issues in Lawrence, and call for the separation of the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Care Center project from the proposed jail expansion.