An Approach to Improving Health and Welfare and Our Justice System
Recently I attended the Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth workshop featuring Kevin Campbell on Self Healing Communities. I was one of over 300 people who spent the day with this internationally recognized advocate for children and families. We explored how, as a community, we can transform traditional health models and revise our juvenile and legal system to bring justice and healing. Self Healing Communities provides a transformative approach for systemic change. The self healing model emphasizes a recognition of the role culture plays in improving health and safety and recognizes a need to invest in our “at risk” members. Self healing communities build on the capacity of a community to intentionally generate new cultural norms and empowers a community to make fundamental changes in its approach to social, health and justice services. Self Healing Communities provides a transformative approach for systemic change. An approach that could be utilized in our social, health, juvenile and justice services.
Our justice services are the largest expenditure in the County budget. Many of these services are mandated by the State and yet significantly under-funded. Yet often these services don’t produce the results we are hoping for and don’t make a lasting contribution or changes that we as a community are hoping to produce. For example, people involved with the criminal justice system may be caught up in this system for the wrong reason and the underlying mental health issues are not recognized or treated. This can produce an endless cycle of courts and jail. I support Coconino County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s goal to reduce recidivism and I believe Self Healing Communities provides a model to help achieve this goal.
As your supervisor I will champion system reform to improve lives for people in our social,health, juvenile and justice services. We must continue the collaboration and advocacy so that our County can focus resources towards effective models and true healing. Implementing what works and discarding and revising with does not, is necessary to find right fit solutions for Coconino County. I have the commitment and leadership skills to engage others to look to implement the changes and instill a new approach to social, health and justice systems to move towards a truly self healing community.