RABSW Statement on the Marcus Alert
To Whom It May Concern,
The Richmond Association of Black Social Workers (RABSW) are in full support of the creation and implementation of the Marcus Alert as a policy and practice in the state of Virginia. As Black Social Workers, we believe the Marcus Alert is necessary because we know that community members who may be “in-crisis” while experiencing mental health challenges need to de-escalate in a safe and culturally responsive way. The Marcus Alert addresses these concerns as it requires that community care response teams be enabled as first responders, which will allow mental health needs be adequately addressed and given full consideration when determining viable treatment options. More specifically, we support the Marcus Alert because we see the immense and compounding impact that mental health challenges and systemic racism have on the black community that often result in the violent treatment of individuals we love.
The support from RABSW is not only in written form, but we are willing and able to offer expertise in the creation of training for Crisis Intervention Teams and can assist with staffing Community Care Teams that are involved in the Marcus Alert.
We hope this letter of support is one that can move the liberatory work of police reform forward in our city, state and nation.
Richmond Association of Black Social Workers