Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative: Primary Service Provider Request for Proposals

Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative

Primary Service Provider
Request for Proposals

RFP Release:         February 1st, 2017
Application Due:     February 24th, 2017


RFP Contact:
LeRoy Evans,

●    Background on the Initiative
●    Goals of the Initiative
●    Service Provider Principles
●    Project Timeline
•    Application Process & Requirements
•    Applicant Qualifications
•    Application

The Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative aims to redirect people out of the criminal justice system who would be better served by social services. It seeks to reduce the number of people in our courts and jails whose involvement is primarily due to mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, or extreme poverty. By replacing detention with services, it will increase neighborhood safety, improve the quality of life in our communities, and expand the quantity and quality of needed social services in our city and county.

The Initiative is modeled after similar successful programs (known as Law Enforcement Assisted diversion or LEAD) in Seattle, WA, Santa Fe, NM, Albany, NY, and Fayetteville, NC. Evaluations out of these jurisdictions show recidivism reduced by up to 60% and improved wellbeing for individuals and communities. Business associations and representatives of commercial districts have championed this approach as a humane and effective way to address quality of life and nuisance concerns. Pre-arrest diversion is different from pre-trial diversion programs because it happens before a person has been arrested, booked, or spent time in court or jail. This saves money, certainly, but more importantly it saves that person from having an(other) arrest on their record and limits the disruption of their employment, housing and other life circumstances.
In December of 2015, the Atlanta City Council and Fulton County Board of Commissioners passed parallel pieces of legislation creating and authorizing a Design Team and planning process for the initiative. That process has engaged 62 criminal justice system and community stakeholders in 5 planning committees to design a high-quality program and plan for sustainability and rigorous evaluation. Design Team members included Atlanta Police Department, as well as MARTA and GSU police departments, the Solicitor’s office and the District Attorney for Fulton County, our city and county public defender’s office, social service providers, medical experts, city council members, the city’s law department, community and neighborhood leaders, victims’ rights advocates and formerly incarcerated individuals. The planning process was funded for one year by a private foundation and is near completion. The pilot program will launch in July of 2017.

The Design Team has selected an area in APD Zones 5 and 6 (map attached) for the 24-month pilot, which incorporates South Downtown, and parts of Midtown and Old Fourth Ward. The program aims to serve 100-150 diverted clients in the first year. Pre-Arrest Diversion has a law enforcement component and social services component. Both are necessary for success. A specially trained officer who has probable cause to make an arrest can instead ask the person if they’d like to enter the PAD program. If that person accepts and has no outstanding warrants, the officer calls a Care Navigator who comes to the scene in a mobile unit for an initial intake. If the Care Navigator provisionally accepts the individual into the program s/he will ensure the person has a place to sleep in the immediate term and set a plan for a longer assessment to begin intensive case managemnt. The program envisions 3 Care Navigators and 2 Peer Specialists in Year 1.

Reduce the number of people unnecessarily entering and repeating the criminal justice system (including the jails) for behaviors related to drug use, mental health, sex work, and extreme poverty.

Reorient our communities’ and governments’ attitudes and responses to safety, disorder, addiction, and mental illness – away from criminalization and toward public health responses.

Improve participant and community quality of life through research-based, health oriented, and harm reduction interventions.

Improve the quality, raise the standards, and increase connection between social service providers in Atlanta/Fulton County to benefit program participants and all residents.

Sustain funding for alternative approaches by capturing and reinvesting criminal justice system savings.

Shift the culture of the police department by giving line officers new tools, and heal tensions that exist between communities and law enforcement.


●    RFP will be issued on February 1st, 2017
●    Proposals are due no later than 5:00 EST on February 24th, 2017
●    Provider will be selected by March 21st, 2017.
●    Start-up phase of the project runs from Jan-June, 2017 with a launch (the date we will begin accepting clients) of the pilot program on July 10th, 2017. Pilot is 24 months with rigorous evaluation and the expectation to expand the program in the future.

●    RFP will be issued on February 1st, 2017
●    Proposals are due no later than 5:00 EST on February 24th, 2017.
●    In preparing your application please use 1-inch margins and a 12-point font. There is no page limit, but we’ve made suggestions for each section. Please be as concise and specific as possible in your responses.
●    Proposals should be submitted electronically in PDF format along with cover sheet that identifies the name of your agency and contain agency contact information.
●    Proposals should be sent to:
●    Proposals will be evaluated by a review panel of experts in trauma-informed care, harm reduction, and pre-arrest/pre-booking diversion. Specific questions regarding the content of the RFP or the selection process should be directed to Xochitl Bervera

The Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative is seeking the following qualities and experiences in a Primary Service Partner (the agency which will hire, supervise, and house the Pre-Arrest Diversion Care Navigators):
•    A demonstrated commitment to client-directed care and a holistic understanding of recovery and wellness;
•    A commitment to harm reduction and housing first philosophies of care;
•    Experience in intensive and holistic case management;
•    Experience providing trauma-informed behavioral health services to criminal-justice involved populations and communities;
•    Strong connections to systems of care in the Metro Atlanta region (medical, substance use, homelessness, mental health);
•    Demonstrated cultural competency working with: people experiencing homelessness, underserved and marginalized populations, formerly incarcerated people, sex workers, immigrant and refugee/asylee populations, substance users, people with disabilities, both physical and emotional, and LGB and Trans identified people;
•    Demonstrated competence in working in environments where potential PAD clients frequent, e.g.: bridges, shelters, strolls, jails, medical facilities and treatment centers;
•    Demonstrated commitment to employing directly impacted people with lived experience;
•    A willingness to work in collaboration to design something innovative and groundbreaking, understanding we are “making the road by walking;”
•    Commitment to establishing a PAD staffing schedule that is responsive to demand (including some combination of weekdays between the hours of 9am – 9pm and possible weekend hours).


Section 1: Background (1 page)
Please provide an overview of your agency. Please include conceptual approaches to service provision, existing services provided by the agency, size of the agency, date the agency was established, and biographies of agency management staff. In short, tell us who you are, what you do, and what you are about.

Section 2: Principles (3-4 pages)

1.    Housing First and Harm Reduction are two of the core principles of the PAD model and service-providers working within the PAD framework must be prepared to employ a housing first and harm reduction approach.

a)    Please describe your agency’s understanding of and commitment to housing first and harm reduction.
b)    Do you practice housing first in any of your current programs? If so, please describe in detail how you practice it, for what populations, and how do you navigate this when there is a lack of sufficient housing and beds available in the city and county.
c)    Do you practice harm reduction in any of your current programs? If so, please describe in detail how you practice it and for what populations.
d)    For what behaviors does a client/participant get terminated from your program and how does your agency approach accountability and set-backs in a client’s path toward wellness?

2.    Intensive Case Management/Care Navigation will be the foundation of the PAD pilot initiative.

a)    Please describe your agency’s current philosophy and methodology of case management/care navigation.
b)    Please describe your agency’s structure for handling the diversity of case management needs presented by the clients you serve.

3.    Part of the service delivery model for PAD relies on the vital importance of Peer Outreach Workers & Advocates.

a)    Please describe your agency’s understanding of peer outreach and counseling and the role of people with lived experience in helping others get well.
b)    Please discuss how you currently employ/use peer educators or outreach workers in your programs. Describe in detail how they are integrated into your service model.

4.    One of the core principles of PAD is the provision of Culturally Competent Services. This specifically includes racial competency and LGB and Trans competency.

a)    Describe your agency’s experience with providing services to the populations that PAD anticipates serving: people experiencing homelessness, underserved and marginalized populations, people of color, formerly incarcerated people, sex workers, immigrant and refugee/asylee populations, drug users, people with disabilities (both physical and emotional/mental), and LGB and trans identified people.
b)    Please share what specific barriers to services you believe the populations listed above face when trying to access services in Atlanta and Fulton County? How does your agency address or work around those barriers?

5.    PAD is committed to Trauma-informed Care and successful outcomes for our participants.

a)    How does your agency engage trauma-informed care currently? What would you anticipate needing to maintain or change to serve the communities that PAD seeks to serve?
b)    Share how your agency understands the impact and specific trauma of criminal justice system involvement. Why, in your experience, is it essential to divert a participant prior to an arrest?

Section 3: Additional Experience (1 page)

1.    A critical component of PAD’s Care Navigation will be interfacing with law enforcement. Please describe your experience working with law enforcement agencies and personnel.

2.    Please provide an overview of your agency, including an organizational chart. Explain how PAD would fit into the existing organization and how the agency will separate funds and staff designate for PAD from other program staff and funds.

3.    Please describe your experience with providing services at flexible hours, including nighttime and weekend shifts.

Section 4: Budget & Financials (1 page plus attachments)

1.    Please submit your agency’s current budget;
2.    Please share with us your agency’s mechanisms for fiscal compliance and oversight;
3.    Please include a copy of your most recent independent audit (or, in lieu of that, most   
      recent 990) with your application.

Section 5:  Proposal (3-5 pages)
Please share with us in whatever format you choose, your proposal for how your agency would develop and implement the intensive social service provision component of this initiative. Please see the last paragraph of the “Background” section of this application for clarification on certain parameters that have already been set for the program including:

•    Pilot project boundaries (midtown and south downtown, parts of APD zones 5 and 6)
•    100-150 participants in the first year
•    3 Care Navigators
•    2 Peer Specialists
•    A mobile unit for rapid response
•    At least 50% of funding to be spent directly on client services (which can range from medical expenses to apartment down payments to hotel rooms to fines and fee clearing, etc)

Your agency would be responsible for hiring and supervising the Care Navigators and Peer Specialists and overseeing the diversion/intake process and on-going intensive case management. Please share what your plan would be for implementation. Some things you may want to consider include:

•    Your proposed plan for hiring/staffing this program and the kind of staff you would seek to hire;
•    Your plan for case management/care navigation delivery for PAD participants (clients);
•    Your plan to ensure at least 50% of the funding is going directly to the needs of the clients – and the list you envision that set of expenses including;
•    Your plan for training and supervision of the Care Navigators and Peer Specialists
•    Your proposed budget for the program

We look forward to receiving your application!