Student Fellowship

Resource Mapping to Inform Diversion, Wellness, and Healing

Project Area:

Racial Equity & Access


Atlanta, GA

Reporting to:

Deputy Chief Operating Officer

The Challenge

In May 2019, Mayor Bottoms signed legislation authorizing the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC), a key element in the mayor’s justice reform agenda. It is a top priority of Mayor Bottoms to put this underutilized facility to more productive use as a multifaceted center for wellness and healing, skills-building, economic mobility, and crime prevention for people, families, and communities impacted by a history of over-incarceration. By converting this space, the City of Atlanta seeks to invest in people to break the cycle of poverty, while at the same time improving public safety practices and opportunities that reduce recidivism and re-build lives. This project is a major element of the Mayor’s justice reform initiatives, and aims to address systemic racism within the criminal justice system through both legislative action and innovative programming. The city partnered with The Vera Institute of Justice to conduct a data analysis and share national best practices that provide guidance on the pathway to jail closure. As a follow-up to these recommendations, Atlanta needs a local scan of social services and resources to expand the available options for diversion. This is required for creating a continuum that matches the intervention to the need for services. Recommendations are needed to determine how the city can partner with agencies to expand diversion opportunities and offerings throughout the city.

What You’ll Do

The fellow will be expected to:

  1. Map the current process and analyze police data for bookings and arrests to identify points of diversion.
  2. Map the existing resource ecosystem to identify providers and capture available services.
  3. Conduct interviews with internal and external stakeholders (community advocates, government officials, police, judges, hospitals, and other local service providers) to understand need and available support.
  4. Based on an assessment of current processes, research, and mapping of the resource ecosystem, offer recommendations for process interventions and points of diversion within the current system and external partnerships to enable diversion from incarceration.

What You’ll Bring

  • Passion and drive for criminal justice reform and sensitivity when communicating with stakeholders
  • Data analysis and research skills
  • Operational and policy analysis skills
  • Qualitative interviewing skills
  • Social services experience a plus, but not required
  • GIS/locational mapping a plus, but not required
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