The deadline is looming for Sebastian County to turn in a plan for a Crisis Stabilization Unit.

The planning committee of the Sebastian County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee met at the Sebastian County Courts Building in Fort Smith at noon Tuesday. During the committee's previous meeting Sept. 5, Sebastian County Judge David Hudson talked about receiving a template for development of the CSU during a technical assistance meeting in Little Rock that he and others from Sebastian County participated in Aug. 23. The template is due Friday for review by the Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Behavioral Health Services.

It was also determined during the last meeting that the planning committee would meet with the treatment and diversion subcommittee of the Sebastian County Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee on Tuesday, according to the meeting minutes. However, Hudson said afterward he and Sebastian County Circuit Judge James Cox, the committee chairman, discussed the problem with enlarging the group to go over the draft CSU plan and meet the Friday deadline. 

"... That's why we don't have the full group here," Hudson said. "Plus, we haven't got the full group figured out, so we wanted to have more time to populate the full subcommittee and meet and get a draft. ..." 

Hudson said he spent a number of hours with Rusti Holwick, CEO of the Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center, to get the plan draft to its current state.

"It's a lot of ... You take the scope of services and put it back into the plan, and then the point is that anything in the scope of services you're not going to do, you would point that out, or if you're asking for some exceptions," Hudson said. "Then, if there's anything that we choose to go ahead and put as an attachment that has been worked out, we would choose to put it as an attachment, but some of that's going to be a work in progress. ..."

One of the factors to be considered is protocols on crisis intervention training (CIT) and how the CIT officers are going to work with one another in the Sebastian County CSU's six-county catchment area, Hudson said. This includes Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Polk and Scott counties.

"A number of things like that, they're going to take some more time," Hudson said.

After the plan is submitted and the subcommittee is populated, Hudson said the planning committee will want to bring in the subcommittee and start working on details such as when and where CIT is going to take place, among others.

Members of the planning committee will meet today at noon to review a draft of the plan with Holwick.