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Page 1

The SBDI Toolkit: A Community Resource for


The SBDI Toolkit: A Community
Resource for Reducing School-
Based Arrests
SBDI: An interagency Partnership (Court Support Services Division of the Judicial Branch,

Department of Children and Families, State Department of Education, Child Health and

Development Institute)

Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI)

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Reducing School-Based Arrests

The Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) is an interagency partnership

supported by the Court Support Services Division of the Connecticut Judicial Branch, the

Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and the Connecticut State Department of

Education. The SBDI was developed as part of the Front End Diversion Workgroup of the

Models for Change Mental Health/Juvenile Justice Action Network. The Mental Health/Juvenile

Justice Action Network was created through support from John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur

Foundation and was coordinated by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile

Justice. This publication was developed with additional support from the Connecticut

Department of Children and Families. It was prepared by the Center for Effective Practice of the

Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI):

Jeana R. Bracey, Ph.D.

Eric R. Arzubi, M.D.

Mark J. Plourd, MSW

Jeffrey J. Vanderploeg, Ph.D.

For additional copies of this toolkit, call 860-679-1524 or visit or

Any portion of this toolkit may be reproduced without prior permission, if cited as: Bracey, J.R.,

Arzubi, E.R., Plourd, M.J., & Vanderploeg, J.J., The SBDI Toolkit: A Community Resource for

Reducing School-Based Arrests, Farmington, CT: Child Health and Development Institute of

Connecticut, 2013.

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ey components described in this section of the toolkit include the activities from the full model

that can most readily be implemented by your school, in collaboration with community partners,

to build your school’s capacity to manage and sustain changes to discipline policies and service referral

practices. Participants in Tiers II and III of the SBDI model receive consultation and support to help

successfully implement these activities. These include:

1. Discipline Policy Revisions and Graduated Response Consultation

2. Training and Professional Development

Discipline Policy Revisions and Graduated Response

SBDI assists schools in developing a graduated response model of discipline intervention. A graduated

response model is a structured approach to responding to in-school behavior incidents using a

tiered model based on intensity and frequency of problem behaviors and incorporates restorative justice

and diversion principles. School staff are encouraged to address minor policy violations and non-violent

behaviors at the classroom level; administrative interventions are reserved for more serious or repetitive

offenses; referrals for school- and community-based services and supports are made as preventative and

early interventions; and formal interventions by law enforcement/School Resource Officers (SROs) are

used only as a last resort. The following table provides a brief example of general target behaviors and

some specific strategies within each level of intervention. While schools generally spend several months

developing a customized graduated response model that works for their unique population and available

local resources, the information presented in this section will allow you to begin this process.


Shifting to a Proactive Approach

 Are you interested in finding solutions to the discipline challenges in your school?

 Do you want to build a long-term strategy for effective behavioral health


 Do you need an initiative customized to your school’s needs and strengths?

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Sample Graduated Response Model

Level of Intervention

Target Behaviors



 Teacher assumes primary

leadership role
 Involves a range of behavior

management strategies
 Non-serious behaviors

 Dress code violations
 Non-serious policy violations
 Excessive talking
 Verbal altercation with another

 Verbal de-escalation
 Re-direction
 Reinforcement of positive



 School administrators are
engaged as decision-makers

 Often requires higher level of
documentation and intervention

 Serious behaviors or repetitive
non-serious incidents

 Pattern of non-serious behaviors
not benefitting from classroom


 Truancy

 Threatening

 Parent conference

 Loss of privilege

 Peer mediation or restorative


 Engages administration and
student support teams (e.g.,

social worker, psychologist,

 Initiates assessment process to

determine needs and make

appropriate service referrals
 Suspected or confirmed mental

health or developmental needs

 Risk of harm to self or others
 Escalating pattern of

inappropriate behaviors or

 Ongoing defiance of school

 Repetitive truancy

 May be used in conjunction with
classroom and administrative

interventions or other

restorative practice

 Referral for psychiatric
evaluation or special education


 Call 2-1-1 for EMPS Crisis


 Involvement of school resource
officer or local law enforcement

 Lower level interventions have
been exhausted or unsuccessful

 Situation is deemed an

 Must be violations of criminal

 Imminent harm to self or others
 Violation of state drug and

weapon statutes as indicated by

the State Department of


 Verbal de-escalation
 Verbal or written warning
 Referral to Juvenile Review

Board or other local diversion


Adapted from the Model Memorandum of Agreement of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC)

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Child Health and Development Institute

CT Department of Children and Families

CT Judicial Branch, Court Support Services

Division (CSSD)

CT Juvenile Justice Alliance (CTJJA)

CT State Department of Education

Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC)

to the Office of Policy and Management

United Way of Connecticut

Family Support Resources
African Caribbean American Parents of

Children with Disabilities (AFCAMP)

Kids Mental Health Info


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

EMPS Providers
Child and Family Guidance Center

Clifford Beers Clinic

Community Health Resources

United Community and Family Services

Wellmore Inc.

Wheeler Clinic Inc.

Community Collaboratives

WrapCT (CT’s Wraparound Initiative)

Care Coordination Providers

Child and Family Guidance Center

Child Guidance Center of Central CT

Clifford Beers Clinic

Community Health Resources

Rushford Center

United Community and Family Services

Wellmore Inc.

Wheeler Clinic Inc.

School Mental Health
Center for School Mental Health

School Mental Health

UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools

Restorative Practices
Restorative Works Learning Network

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