Courts

Developing a Mental Health Court: An Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Recent Posts

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Salt Lake County Launches Study of Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) today announced plans for a comprehensive analysis of Salt Lake County’s jail population in an effort to identify ways to reduce reoffense rates among people released from jail and design strategies to improve outcomes for the large portion of the jail population struggling with mental and/or substance use disorders.

Denise O'Donnell

BJA Director Delivers Statement at Senate Hearing on Law Enforcement Responses to Americans with Mental Illnesses and Disabilities

At the April 29th hearing—“Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety”—Director Denise O’Donnell of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) delivered statements about the department’s support for evidence-based practices and promising interventions for individuals with mental illnesses and/or disabilities who are involved with the justice system.

U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant Recipients Convene for Orientation and Training

To help federal grant recipients learn how to develop successful criminal justice and mental health collaborations, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, hosted its fifth annual training and orientation conference, “Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery” on May 13–14 in National Harbor, Maryland.

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House Passes Bill Funding Key Justice Programs

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) 2015 federal spending bill that funds Department of Justice (DOJ) programs. The bill provides $27.8 billion for DOJ programs in FY2015, an increase of $383 million over current spending.

Announcements

Webinars

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Improving Outcomes for Court-Involved Youth with Co-Occurring Disorders

This webinar provides an overview of three briefs that were recently published by National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders among youth.

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Youthful Offenders – DC Public Safety Television

This video, aired on DC Public Safety Television and produced by Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia (CSOSA) and the Office of Cable Television, provides an overview of CSOSA’ efforts to implement best practices for [...]

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Mental Health Courts Research Roundup: Applying Research to Practice

This webinar, held on March 26th, 2013, provided an overview of emerging research about mental health courts and discussed its implications for mental health court practitioners and policymakers. During the webinar, mental health court researchers shared their findings and facilitated [...]

Publications

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Community-Based Supervision: Increased Public Safety, Decreased Expenditures

This tip sheet from the National Juvenile Justice Network and Safely Home Campaign discusses the fundamental characteristics of effective community-based supervision programs, including being evidence-based, using a strength-based/positive youth development approach, having court accountability and family engagement elements, using follow-up [...]

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Expert Working Group Report: Native American Traditional Justice Practices

This report from the U.S Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs summarizes discussions and provides recommendations from an April 2013 Expert Working Group that focused on the use of traditional Native American justice interventions to respond to criminal and delinquent behavior.

Recent Headlines

Picking ‘Three-strikers’ to Free Poses Complex Challenge

Wallace is one of more than 1,000 prisoners from Los Angeles County who have asked a judge to reduce the length of their sentences or free them under Proposition 36, a 2012 ballot measure that softened three strikes. A request can be denied if a judge decides an inmate poses an “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.” More than 550 inmates have already been resentenced in Los Angeles County under the initiative, but the district attorney’s office is strongly opposing the release of another 530 or so third-strikers, such as Wallace, arguing that they haven’t been rehabilitated and remain a threat.

Prop 47 Passes in California, Reclassifies Offenses

The retroactive Proposition 47 reduced “nonserious and nonviolent property and drug crimes” including shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, drug possession, writing bad checks and certain forgery offenses into misdemeanor crimes. Those with prior convictions are now eager to be resentenced, and those who have already completed their sentences can now petition the courts for a downgrade.