Melissia is an experienced public safety project director with over 19 years within the area of criminal justice and public safety initiatives, primarily geared towards local communities. In her work with North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) she oversees the development and implementation of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) sites across the State. As a law enforcement trainer, she routinely presents to all levels of sworn personnel on harm reduction topics to include post-overdose response, naloxone programming, and diversion opportunities within the justice system. She is also currently working on a justice-involved overdose prevention initiative that will bring harm reduction education into four jails.
In her career, she has directed numerous collaborative initiatives with state and federal funding to include the diversion of criminal justice involved people with mental illness, human trafficking, and domestic violence homicide prevention. Her professional interests include increasing awareness among law enforcement on how harm reduction plays a critical role in their response along with creating understanding of the intersection of co-occurring disorders within the justice system.
Melissia has provided technical assistance on a variety of issues and was on the forefront for North Carolina law enforcement agencies implementing permanent drop-off boxes for unwanted prescription pills and for the law enforcement deployment of naloxone. In her work with NCHRC she provides ongoing technical support for over six LEAD programs throughout the state. In 1995, Melissia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice from Mount Olive University.