Integrated Community Outreach Teams
Integrated community outreach teams help offenders with complex needs address the causes of their criminal behaviour.
Professionals from B.C. Corrections, the Ministry of Health, regional health authorities, the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, local police and community resources work together as a team to help offenders:
- Get housing
- Fight their addictions
- Overcome mental health issues
- Find work
Members include a:
- Probation officer
- Mental health social worker
- Mental health outreach worker
- Psychiatric nurse
- Income assistance worker
- Police officer
Each integrated team is designed to suit the region and resources available. For example, members of the Victoria Integrated Community Outreach Team (also called VICOT) work together to help offenders in the community develop life skills. In Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, a team of probation officers and mental health professionals at the Vancouver Intensive Supervision Unit (VISU) provide intensive interventions designed to reduce hospital and jail admissions.
There are currently 24 integrated community outreach projects operating in the province. Additional initiatives are being developed.