How A Short Walk In The Woods Led To The

Creation Of Collaborative Crime Solutions

2020-12-07 | Dr. Barbara Bailey, Founds, Collaborative Crime Solutions

I thrive on finding solutions to problems, whatever they are, but I have come to learn that I think differently than many people. I open my mind and intuition, realizing more significant connections that often escape or elude others. I enjoy observing the world around me and love hearing other people’s “stories” and perspectives. 

In late 2014 my world was turned upside down after I fainted. Months later, I received a diagnosis that would require a bone marrow transplant to cure. My sense of “normalcy” was ripped away from me.  I lost many things with that diagnosis, my health, home, horses, and marriage. But it was a chance for tremendous growth, and it helped to prepare me for bigger things. 

Current day, 2020, we have the pandemic, which mirrors what I went through, but globally. There has been nothing normal about 2020. Everyone has been impacted in some way, with their lives turned upside down. We have learned to adapt to new ways of doing things, understanding that what we once accepted as normal may never return. Change is never easy. You can embrace it and be open to new possibilities, or you can resist and live in fear. We all handle things differently. It is not my place to judge those who resist. Instead, I am here to serve those who see present-day events as an opportunity to usher in new ways of doing things within the criminal justice system. 

I like to walk to clear my head and connect with myself and my beautiful Colorado surroundings.  In mid-2020, I was pondering the impact of COVID-19 on criminal justice policy and procedure. I have dedicated the past 30 years to the study of the criminal justice system. One typical headline was the call to release prisoners to avoid exposure to the virus. Since my first year in college, I have leaned towards believing that we have an over-reliance on incarceration in this country rather than focusing on the root causes of crime. Of course, the root causes go beyond the criminal justice system, and justice professionals cannot solve crime on their own. In addition to that, only two days before this walk, George Floyd was killed, sparking outrage across the nation, demanding reform. Rather than coming together, in some communities, the leaders worked against each other, pointing the finger of blame at others to escape their own responsibility. 

While walking that day, I was reminded of an event I attended in my community a few years prior. A local “town hall” type meeting was held on the topic of methamphetamine in our area. The hall was full of community members who truly cared about working towards solutions to the problem of addiction. The crowd was reminded that substance abuse does not only impact an individual, but the family, friends, and community. They are someone’s son or daughter, father or mother, or brother or sister. Their family and loved ones are impacted, in need of services to help them cope. The community is affected by homelessness and crime.

The hosts had hired an amazing young man who shared a tragic yet inspiring personal story. He was cooking methamphetamine in his car, and it exploded in his face. He caught on fire and was permanently and severely disfigured, but he came out on the other end as a dynamic, motivational speaker. In attendance were several leaders from the community, the mayor, chief of police, sheriff, county commissioner, etc. They all briefly spoke about what they were doing individually with their departments and of the challenges they faced with red tape. This was especially true for the District Attorney. Representatives from the local treatment center were also in attendance, but they were not one of the presenters and I remember questioning why they were not part of the initial conversation. I only realized they were there when the Q and A opened, and someone spoke up. 

I was quite moved by the event. I remember feeling that every leader who spoke that day was doing the best they could individually. But I did not understand the disconnect, especially for a small community. Why were they not all working collectively to solve the methamphetamine problem? And in that moment, during my walk in 2020, I heard the words “Collaborative Crime Solutions” and decided to create my business.  I can only imagine what can be done when all community stakeholders get together to share what they are doing, what works, their challenges, their ideas, their resources, and so on. 

With that revelation, my thoughts went in another direction.  I felt the pain of those working in the system, who suddenly felt the world was working against them. The impact to them is easily overlooked by the media. Law enforcement personnel have become villainized and, in some cases, their personal safety has been jeopardized. What could I do to help those working in the field? I developed a program to help them come back to the reason why many of them entered the profession, because they wanted to make a positive impact in society. Some of the benefits of my program include gaining clarity of vision and contribution to humanity, resolving internal conflict, becoming a more effective leader, breaking free from illusions that are holding them back, optimization of time, greater resiliency, increased positive self-image and less tension and anxiety reduction. 

My walk lasted no more than sixty minutes and yet, so much came in, that aligned to my personal vision and need to contribute to humanity. If you are a public service professional, I can help you maximize your leadership potential and create healthy and mutually supportive relationships to solve your community’s biggest challenges. I utilize my formal education, training, and the principles of connection, collaboration, partnerships, intuition, and empathy. If you are a public service professional who is feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I can provide you with tools to bring you back into balance and remembrance of why you entered the field. 

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