Robin S. Engel, Gabrielle T. Isaza, Jennifer Calnon Cherkauskas, Nicholas Corsaro, and Ryan Motz.
This report documents the findings from the second and third phases of a broader research study designed to examine the utility of sobering centers as an alternative to arrest. Using five jurisdictions as case study sites, we conducted comprehensive examinations of sobering center operations and police use of this arrest alternative in Oklahoma City, OK; Tulsa, OK; Wichita, KS; Austin, TX; and Houston, TX. Across each site, we examined admission and client data from sobering centers and arrest data from police departments to determine the impact of each sobering center. We conducted focus groups with police officers in four of the five jurisdictions to understand officer decision-making in diversion to sobering centers. Findings support the benefits of sobering centers as an alternative to arrest, particularly as a tool for diverting unhoused members of the public away from the criminal justice system for minor offenses.
Case study, Secondary data analysis, Focus groups
Strategic Priority Area(s)