DENVER – Robert Bremer, vice president of network strategy at Colorado Access, joins the Alternatives to Jail advisory group, sponsored by Caring for Denver Foundation. Bremer also serves as commissioner and co-chair of the Denver Crime Prevention and Control Commission (CPCC).
“Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the nation, but this can be exacerbated by mental health and substance use challenges,” says Bremer. “The goal of this advisory group is to increase safety for everyone while reducing crime and jail time. Jail isn’t always the answer, and I firmly believe we can find alternatives to a complex issue.”
The advisory group guides the Caring for Denver Foundation’s board of directors by offering recommendations on alternatives to jail. The Foundation will oversee the distribution of the voter-approved sales tax of one-quarter of one percent sales and use tax rate. The new funds will increase resources for Denver’s mental health and substance abuse treatment efforts and suicide prevention programs. The funding will also be used to reduce the number of people who live with mental health and substance use disorders from entering the criminal justice system. These dedicated funds will support alternatives to jail that include pairing first responders with a behavioral health specialist, and training for first responders.
Advisory group participants will develop an alternatives to jail plan for the Foundation’s board of directors. As a whole, the group will be looking at developing a plan that includes the continuum of services that need to exist within a community for alternatives to jail to be successful, as well as best practices from other states, and then offer implementation recommendations.
About Colorado Access
Founded in 1994, Colorado Access is a local, nonprofit health plan that serves members throughout Colorado. The company’s members receive health care as part of Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) and Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) behavioral and physical health, and long-term services and supports programs. The company also provides care coordination services and administers behavioral health and physical health benefits for two regions as part of the Accountable Care Collaborative Program through Health First Colorado. Colorado Access is the state’s largest single entry point agency, coordinating long-term service and supports for Health First Colorado recipients in five Denver metro area counties. To learn more about Colorado Access, visit coaccess.com.