Signals AZ

Reach Out Initiative Funding Bill Signed by Governor Ducey

On May 16, 2018, Governor Doug Ducey signed SB 1476 which appropriates the sum of $500,000 over the next 3 fiscal years to fund the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Reach Out Program.

Governor Doug Ducey speaking at the 2016 Arizona CEO Summit hosted by Greater Phoenix Leadership at the Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes in Tempe, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons)

Sheriff Mascher would like to thank Arizona Senator Sylvia Allen for her efforts to make sure this bill, originally introduced under SB 1081, made it to the Governor’s desk. Senator Allen expressed her strong support for Reach Out after hearing about the program, taking the time to tour the detention facility in Camp Verde and meet with Command staff to see the impact of this initiative. The Sheriff also appreciates the Governor’s support by way of his signature authorizing the appropriation.

Senator Allen, “I believe this is a revolutionary program the Yavapai County Sheriff has created as it changes the way we think about helping those returning to the community following incarceration. Providing these services on the front end, we will expect to see cost savings on the back end through reduced recidivism rates involving those accepted into the program. With an anticipated successful outcome from this pilot program, I would like to see this concept offered to county jails statewide. Helping those with mental illness/drug addiction get their lives back together makes the effort worthwhile and could even have an impact reducing our prison population.”

Background – REACH OUT is a project initiated under the leadership of Sheriff Scott Mascher and his Chief Deputy, David Rhodes. The goal of Reach Out is to create a road to recovery outside of incarceration by providing service linkage to county jail inmates with appropriate behavioral health and substance abuse treatment at the earliest possible moment in the criminal justice system. In earlier comments about the program, County Attorney Shelia Polk said, “Most of what we have historically done is to provide back-end services to defendants. Reach Out is ground-breaking in that the link to services will be made upon the system’s first contact with an offender.” Chief Rhodes noted his goal that every contact by an inmate in this program is meaningful and resourceful.

This funding, in part, will provide for director oversight, staffing, and tracking of inmates accepted into the program. Detention facility release coordinators will screen inmates suffering from mental illness, substance abuse and/or co-occurring disorders to determine the history of substance abuse and mental illness, willingness for treatment, and severity of charges. From there, the coordinators will connect the inmate to partners throughout the county who can provide appropriate treatment to qualifying individuals.

An important component of Reach Out will be cross-system recidivism tracking which allows a snapshot of inmate history, status, and success to help evaluate the program at all levels and involving all stakeholders. Some of those stakeholders include courts, attorneys, pre-trail services, mental health treatment providers including behavioral health authorities and local behavioral health homes/shelters, along with community support programs in the areas of AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) assistance, transportation, education assistance, veteran’s programs, housing, etc.

There is also a pre-arrest diversion focus in Reach Out. It involves training law enforcement officers to utilize de-escalation skills in conjunction with crisis response teams to divert those with mental health issues from jail if appropriate.

Previous funding to help launch the Reach Out Program has come from a federal Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, grant obtained by Chief Deputy Rhodes, an allocation of monies from Yavapai County Attorney Shelia Polk’s office earmarked for pre-trail diversion programs by the state legislature, and the Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBA).

Sheriff Mascher appreciates the support of all the stakeholders who share his vision of the Reach Out program’s goal to provide critical pre and post-release services for those who qualify, reducing recidivism and in turn jail population, while benefiting overall community safety. With the expected positive results, the Sheriff hopes the program can spread statewide and even to those Sheriff’s agencies outside Arizona looking to reduce recidivism in their facilities.

A copy of the complete brochure is available here –


Follow Signals on Facebook to get the latest local events and updates:

Subscribe to the Signals Newsletter, events, entertainment, info & news right to your inbox! SUBSCRIBE

If you like this story, consider subscribing to Signals Updates, Entertainment Events & News!

One response to “Reach Out Initiative Funding Bill Signed by Governor Ducey”

  1. Jason Ramsey says:

    Mr. Ducey I am Reaching out to say how bad our fentanyl epidemic is out of control i would like to give your team our info on The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. We do have beds for men and women! if your team can reach out and contact myself i would like to give them the proper documents to get some of this help out into the proper hands.

    Sincerely Jason Ramsey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.