CANCELLED – Diversion First

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, this dinner has been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

On January 1, 2016, Fairfax County launched Diversion First, which offers alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities, who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. The goal is to intercede whenever possible to provide assessment, treatment or needed supports. How did the Diversion First program come about?  How is it affecting the practice of policing in Fairfax County?  Are we achieving the desired result of keeping our mentally ill citizens out of jail and providing treatment to those who need it?

Join us on May 30 as Lisa Potter, Diversion First Manager for Fairfax County, and Braddock Supervisor John Cook discuss the history of the Diversion First program, its effects on the criminal justice system and public safety, and the outlook for the program;s future. They’ll also respond to your questions.

Dinner Cost:  Members or Non-Members – $39
Payment can be made by credit card in advance — or at the event with check or cash.

To pay by credit card, request an invoice in your RSVP message.

Please state your meal preference with your RSVP
Fish, Chicken, Beef, or Vegetarian

About the speakers

Lisa Potter was named Diversion First manager by Fairfax County’s Health and Human Services Office of Strategy Management in August 2018She works closely with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, senior county leadership, police, fire and rescue, the Sheriff’s Office, courts, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) and community stakeholders to continue the success of the county’s Diversion First initiative. She is responsible for leading a multi-year, comprehensive cross-systems initiative designed to improve delivery of services and outcomes of the individuals served by the program, while also demonstrating solid economic investment. Ms. Potter also works on implementing cooperative policies and programs across multiple agencies to forward the success of Diversion First.

Ms. Potter has worked for the CSB since 1994 and has held various clinical and administrative positions during her tenure. She has worked as a prevention specialist, clinical supervisor, quality assurance coordinator, quality improvement manager, and most recently, as CSB’s director of strategy and performance management. Ms. Potter holds a master’s degree in community agency counseling from George Mason University, and is a certified substance abuse counselor and certified process manager. She has worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education, the Mid-Atlantic Technology Transfer Center and several local universities. She has extensive experience in data analysis and evaluation, strategic planning, process improvement, project management, program development and cross-system initiatives, such as Diversion First.

Supervisor John C. Cook has represented the Braddock District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors since 2009. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, Cook was tasked by Chairman Bulova to serve as the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, where he oversees the formation of County policy as it relates to police reform as well as the creation and implementation of Diversion First. He also serves as the Board of Supervisor’s representative to the Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy Coordinating Council of Fairfax County, and in June 2014, he was named Shelter House, Inc.’s Community Champion for his work to prevent and end domestic violence. Also in 2014, Mr. Cook was recognized by the Fairfax Branch of the NAACP for his commitment to the community, receiving the organization’s Presidents Award.

Mr. Cook currently serves as Secretary and as a Board Member of the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) Operations Board and was previously Chair. He is a member of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), where he serves as Chair of the Governance and Personnel Committee, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), where he serves as Treasurer. Additionally, he is also the Board of Supervisor’s representative to the George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus Advisory Board.

Mr. Cook is a former president of the Kings Park Civic Association (KPCA). In 2008, Volunteer Fairfax named Mr. Cook the Braddock District “Community Champion” for his work on the KPCA revitalization program. That same year, the Braddock District Council awarded KPCA the “Best of Braddock” award for “Community Enhancement and Beautification.”

Mr. Cook is the managing partner of the Fairfax law firm Cook Craig & Francuzenko. He lives in the Kings Park community with his wife, Valerie, and children, Sarah, Amanda, Laura, Andrew, and Steven.

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