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Champion of Recovery: Celisa Lehew

Chief Celisa Lehew of the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Police Department, first thought of becoming a criminal justice professional when her grandfather created and founded a reentry program for incarcerated men transitioning from incarceration back into the communities. Since that time, she has understood the power of community. The Chapel Hill Police Department has had a crisis unit imbedded since 1973, and its focus is on diverting those individuals who have substance use disorders and/or mental health disorders from the barriers that the criminal justice system can present. In 2023, two peer support recovery specialists were added to the unit. She explains how she works with the department's crisis unit and community staakeholders to foster recovery.

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