From Crisis Response to Harm Prevention: The Role of Integrated Service Facilities

Rafik Nader Wahbi & Sterling Johnson & Leo Beletsky

Executive Summary

As things stand, many interactions with crisis response systems in the United States result in a trip to jail or an emergency room. Both of these options are costly, inefficient, and often result in the same people coming back again and again.

There is a better way: Integrated Service Facilities (ISFs) can provide an effective, less costly, and more sustainable alternative. These facilities bundle assistance for substance use, mental and behavioral health, housing, and other health, legal, and social needs. Open 24/7 and free to use, ISFs can mitigate an unfolding crisis and triage vulnerable people into longer-term systems of care. What sets ISFs apart from existing emergency response systems, however, is that they also make it their core mission to prevent crises from happening in the first place. As the United States continues to grapple with over-reliance on expensive and ineffective crisis response, ISFs provide a critical piece of a better response and prevention system.

The ISF model is a common-sense solution, so it is no surprise that it receives broad bipartisan support across the nation:

  • 58% of likely voters support having ISFs in their community.
  • 53% believe that ISFs would save taxpayer resources in the long run.
  • 56% percent of likely voters said they would vote for a politician promising to create ISFs.
  • 52% support prioritizing resources for ISFs over police and prisons, including 36% of all Republicans that responded.
  • 58% would vote for a ballot measure to allocate public funds to create ISFs.
From Crisis Response to Harm Prevention: The Role of Integrated Service Facilities
From Crisis Response to Harm Prevention: The Role of Integrated Service Facilities