The U.S. Forest Service has quietly launched a “matchmaking” effort to connect non-profits employing formerly incarcerated workers who deconstruct abandoned buildings in big metropolises such as Baltimore with private companies looking for a dependable supply of reclaimed lumber.
The Champaign County Jail signed onto the Stepping Up Initiative after Deputy Chief Allen Jones realized the majority of the jail’s “frequent flyers,” who landed in jail five or more times a year, had mental health or substance use issues.
To push the field in this direction, The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University partnered last fall to interview nearly 50 researchers, national experts and system leaders from across the juvenile justice continuum to solicit their ideas about how juvenile justice systems could significantly improve outcomes for youth.
Anti-medication-assisted therapy policies have a number of unconscionable effects. They mean that incarceration necessarily disrupts a promising treatment before it has time to work. They also force addicts who are in treatment but faced with incarceration to rapidly and dangerously taper off serious medications.
One of the first grants that our Stepping Up team secured financed an intake survey that identifies people for whom jail time is not the best solution. Once an individual is identified with a mental health or other problem, one of our county’s network of service providers can be brought in to help.
Sebastian County, Arkansas is in the process of securing grants funds for a mental health court, which will function hand-in-hand with the newly opened Crisis Stabilization Unit in Fort Smith. Last year, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a bill to set up procedures and rules for judicial districts to create mental health specialty courts.
Massachusetts state legislation enacted in August 2015, known as Chapter 55, allowed for the first time the linking of 22 data sets to answer questions about opioid use and the epidemic spreading across the state.
In Camden, New Jersey, the co-occurring reentry program focuses on people with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. It’s unique for a city that has limited addiction recovery resources.
Franklin County has received a Justice Public Safety Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for the South County Mental Health Co-Responder Program in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
The U.S. House recently passed the FIRST STEP Act with overwhelming bipartisan support, sending the bill to the Senate. Introduced by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the prison reform bill, which also has the support of President Donald Trump, would lower recidivism and prison populations through rehabilitative programing.