Quarter 1

Leadership and Operation Teams Expand: Mankato Department of Public Safety and Mobile Services approached Yellow Line Leadership about joining the mission after a community meeting.

Mobile Services Clarification: Mobile statistics have historically shown a very low referral rate for services coming from law enforcement. A work session with law enforcement was held in which basic principles of the YLP were presented. Traditional responses to actual call scenarios were discussed prior to YLP education. Following education, the same scenarios were discussed and alternative responses surfaced. Following this training, more calls from law enforcement to mobile team occurred.

Community Based Coordinator (CBC): Community Based Coordinator (CBC) was selected as the title for the social workers role originally defined as “Liaison Case Manager”.   The social worker that was located in the jail in 2016 was instructed to begin transitioning her work ahead of the yellow line, into the pre-booking area, with the goal to be solely “ahead of the yellow line” as of 4/1.  This move signified a continued investment in moving diversion as far upstream in the process as possible. 

24/7 Preparations:  The CBC conducted a series of pilots to test the tools being developed for the YLP toolkit. Searches for staff with nursing or social work experience began so that the YLP screening could occur 24-hours a day, 7 days per week.

Stabilization Bed planning:  Work with Horizon Homes, Inc., our local crisis residential provider began to plan for expansion of current resources for mental health and chemical needs. Horizon Homes began a strategic planning process to determine what service is most needed in the community.

Use of Consultants: Outside consultants were utilized to bring additional dimension and horsepower to project analysis specifically surrounding data collection.

Post-Arrest Community Based Coordination:  Senator Julie Rosen and Rep Tony Cornish authored a bill in the Senate and House to create a new MA service entitled Post-Arrest Community Based Coordination. This service will be a billable service ran by a person similar to our CBC role in the current project. The success of this proposed service will project financial stability and further the likelihood of this project's replication in other counties.

Operational Tool Kit created

Systematic Placement Database: An electronic database was created through a survey of licensed facilities across the state, which indicates what type of services are provided and to what type of individual based on need.  Staff are able to do a statewide search of mental health and chemical health programs and facilities across the state by selecting categories of need.  This has significantly shortened the time it takes for case management staff to find placements, and has encouraged the use of facilities that some staff have been unfamiliar with.  Providers have expressed interest in this program’s use to be broadened to other counties.

Flagged Booking System: An automated information system was designed and deployed to cross reference the daily jail booking list with human services information systems.  This program is available only to human services staff with proper credentialing.  If a person is booked into jail, the following morning at 8am a notification is provided to human services if there is any current or past (up to 6 months) involvement of any human services program.  This allows staff (case managers, nursing, other) to immediately make contact with the individual and prioritize this contact.  It also is an automated system to build upon for future use by our human services staff providing services in the jail.

Presentations: Community meetings held with 62 members, some traveling as far away as the Arrowhead Region.

Quarter 2

Implementation of a 24/7 Screening Team:   The Blue Earth County CBC staffs the Pre-Booking area during regular business hours, and also follows up with all individuals who are diverted to assure follow through with their My Yellow Line Plan.  The mobile team provides staffing response, either on site, or by physical response for all other times of the day. 

Mobile Services Integration:  The linkage with Horizon Home’s Mobile Team has been critical. Additionally, having a member of the mobile staff cover non-business hours of the Pre-Booking area to conduct screenings has been a substantial benefit to the Yellow Line Project .   Officers use their new relationships to request the presence of the Mobile Team during calls that were not due to criminal activity.  "One Mission, One Population, One Team” philosophies have been adopted.

Community Based Coordinator and Jail Staffing:   As the CBC has gained volume with screenings and the intensive follow-up necessary to create a My Yellow Line Plan, the effects have been felt widely from the jail, to Human Services, and beyond.  The streamlined communication and case planning were a direct connection to our reduced AMRTC costs.  Human Services and the Sheriff’s Department has submitted a formal request to add a full time social worker within the jail.   The intention is that this position would also work within the Pre-Booking and jail settings alongside the CBC increasing coverage for the CBC, continuity of care, as well as a link with the Mental Health Center as they expand their clinical services in the jail.  

Post-Arrest Community Based Coordination:  Bills in the Senate and House for Post-Arrest Community Based Coordination continued to move through the Legislature during the second quarter.  This was a breakthrough for the project, as it will provide a revenue stream for the CBC’s work once a diversion is in motion.  It is estimated that 70% of the CBC’s time will be spent in service coordination efforts.  This also helps other projects like the YLP be financially viable from a revenue standpoint, and not just a cost-savings perspective.   

Law Enforcement Trainings: Commander DuRose of the Mankato Department of Public Safety and Captain Barta of the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department developed a training curriculum to inform all law enforcement agencies and their personnel of the YLP practices and expectations. 

Language Development:  Developing a common language has been key to the successes of this project.   When a person agrees to the YLP to prevent incarceration but charges still remain, it is called a "Placement Diversion".  When the plan is for charges to be held for dismissal and also prevent incarceration, it is called a "Charges Diversion".  Additionally, we are witnessing law enforcement speak to one another about their use of the services offered by the YLP, they often say they “Yellow Lined” an individual.  These language developments are examples of how the law enforcement culture is changing, rather quickly.

Data Dashboard:  The YLP leadership convened a group of individuals from all YLP partner organizations to work on the development of a Data Dashboard for real-time use by all project partners.  One deliverable is that the data dashboard must be accessible to all members of the YLP leadership, regardless of agency.  Using non-identified client data at the dashboard level has helped to overcome some barriers.    

Statewide/National Project Interest:  Interest in this project remains high.   Multiple counties have requested further information, conversations and consultation about how to initiate a project like the YLP.  Some of these counties have taken steps to align leadership on this topic.  Nationally, the NACo sponsored Stepping Up Initiative highlighted our project during a national phone conference on June 15, 2017.   The YLP primary practices are placed in a unique spot in the arresting workflow, whereas most diversion programs focus on pre-trial and discharge planning efforts.

New Partnerships Considered: Throughout the development of this project, leadership has expressed a desire to include every organization interested at some level, but to maintain the leadership partners to only those necessary in an effort to reduce scope-creep.  The second quarter’s implementation efforts highlighted possible opportunities with participation from the County Attorney’s office. Additionally, warm transfers from Pre-Booking or the jail are being made to our local hospital.  Mayo Hospital has approached the YLP to inquire how they may be a partner at the table, as they are witnessing possible advantages of working collectively for the needs of this shared population.  Finally, efforts are reemerging with the leadership of our local detox unit.

Stabilization Bed Planning:   Plans are underway for Horizon Homes to purchase land co-owned by the City of Mankato and the County of Blue Earth to build a new 16-bed crisis residential unit and adjacent office space for their Mobile Crisis Team.  This proximity is ideal for the needs of the YLP, as a response by the Mobile Crisis Team could occur within minutes. 

Operational Toolkit: During the second quarter, final reviews, formatting and printing occurred on all of the associated forms.  One additional form was created so that a person may be released to a responsible party as part of a diversion if the person is suspected of being under the influence at the time of the diversion.   All forms have also been built within the Mental Health Center’s electronic health record, and all interactions are being documented within a electronic record.  

Video:  Due to the significant number of inquiries of the YLP, a decision has been made to create a video account of the project so that the information may be more easily shared.  An informational video will showcase the work of the project to provide the viewer with an understanding of the project’s mission. The bulk of the work for this project will take place in the third quarter.