According to jail records, Richard King—a Vietnam veteran—was taken to the Sebastian County Detention Center on a mental hold. An officer trained in crisis stabilization found the vet was bipolar and referred him to the state’s first regional mental health crisis center there.
Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas became the latest governor to participate in Face to Face (#MeetFacetoFace), an initiative that encourages policymakers to connect with people closest to the correctional system. He joins 13 other governors—7 Republicans and 6 Democrats—that have participated in the initiative.
Recently, the first lady and I convened a group of state officials, judges, prosecutors, victim advocates and other stakeholders to discuss Connecticut’s progress toward improving the state’s criminal justice system. Sounds like a run-of-the-mill convening of policymakers and practitioners until you consider the venue: one of our state’s maximum-security prisons, the Cheshire Correctional Institution.
After 24 visits to Connecticut prisons, Gov. Dannel Malloy decided it was time others got to see what he’d seen. “After the experiences I’ve had,” Malloy said, “we just got to thinking that it would be good to have people experience it for a day.”
Since the initiative’s launch late last year, a bipartisan group of 13 governors—7 Republicans, 6 Democrats—have participated in Face to Face events.
During their visit, Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg met with inmates participating in Iowa’s largest apprenticeship program, in addition to leading a roundtable discussion with many of the program’s stakeholders and local business leaders where they discussed the importance of providing reentry services and employment opportunities for those being released from prisons and jails.
Wetzel’s remarks set the tone for the meeting, which was aimed at presenting officials in each state with a detailed analysis of their crime issues, including trends in arrests, recidivism and behavioral health, and help them come up with evidence-based solutions.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, on Aug. 16, discussed mental health treatment and “second chances” during a tour of a women’s correctional facility in Denver, where he had the opportunity to #MeetFacetoFace with corrections officers and the people incarcerated there. “Prisoners are often forgotten … out of sight out of mind,” Gov. Hickenlooper said. “I think there are better ways of dealing with their lives than just locking them up in a box.”
Last week Gov. Steve Bullock visited the program as part of an initiative called Face to Face, organized by the National Reentry Resource Center and The Council of State Governments Justice Center.
On August 14th, 2017 the Face to Face Initiative was launched across the U.S. Engaging in a wave of public activities that featured both Republican and Democratic governors and other elected officials, meetings were arranged for these policy leaders with people impacted by the criminal justice system in their respective states. These individuals included offenders, returned citizens, victims of crime and law enforcement.