Recent Posts

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s criminal justice system face mental health issues: a Bureau of Justice Statistics report found, for example, that people in U.S. prisons and jails are three to five times more likely to experience serious psychological distress than the general adult population. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need and taking a strategic approach across systems—from law enforcement to community-based reentry services.

Announcements

Forty-First Juvenile Justice Symposium

Forty-First Juvenile Justice Symposium

The symposium, hosted by the Mississippi Division of Public Safety Planning-Programs and the Mississippi Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, will provide a venue where participants from varying disciplines can receive appropriate resources to help prevent juvenile delinquency by educating the professionals who serve throughout the state of Mississippi and the nation.

2018 Youth Summit: Empowering Youth—Resiliency in the Face of Trauma

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice will host a youth summit that brings together young people from across the country who are interested in juvenile justice reform and aims to cultivate and empower the next generation of leaders by providing them with the tools they need to leverage their lived expertise.

Webinars

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar provides an overview of national estimates of incarcerated veterans; explains components of the Veterans Health Administration’s veterans justice programs; expands awareness of the needs of veterans in the justice system; and discusses new developments in the Veterans Administration and community interventions to provide services to veterans in the justice system.

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar features Roger Peters, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The webinar discusses the prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders among people involved in the criminal justice system, as well as effective screening and assessment instruments to use with this population.

How Correctional Agencies Can Develop and Implement Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plans

How Correctional Agencies Can Develop and Implement Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plans

The webinar provides a conceptual overview of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reentry program in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and discusses the program’s processes in three key areas: 1) interagency collaboration and information sharing; 2) staff training; and 3) screening and assessment as part of their collaborative comprehensive case plan process.

Publications

Critical Issues in Policing Series: The Police Response to Homelessness

Critical Issues in Policing Series: The Police Response to Homelessness

This publication from the Police Executive Research Forum includes information on problem-solving, innovation, and partnerships in the police response to homelessness, and is built upon stories from law enforcement leaders sharing successes and best practices from their jurisdictions.

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

Modern Justice: Using Data to Reinvent America’s Crisis Response Systems

This publication from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation examines how public safety personnel, health professionals, and service providers can contribute to solving the problem of Frequent Utilizers—those who cycle in and out of jails, hospitals, shelters, and other social service programs at a startlingly high rate.

Recent headlines

Mental Health Experts to Advise Law Enforcement in Clatsop County

Teams of two mental health experts from Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare will cover 12-hour shifts and answer police calls in the community. The outreach could give law enforcement deeper insight into people who are already on the county’s mental health radar, as well as provide a point of contact for people with undiagnosed or untreated mental illness.

Editorial: Police Agencies Should Follow Westminster’s Lead, Take One Mind Pledge

Recently, the Westminster Police Department became the first in the state to meet the requirements among the seven agencies that have taken the pledge. Chief of Police Jeff Spaulding told us it was important Westminster be part of the campaign because “of the prevalence of these calls in the city and the need to ensure that officers are handling them in a safe and effective manner which optimizes the potential of a positive outcome for everyone involved.”

Morgan Joins National Mental Health Program

Bill Giguere, development director with the Mental Health Center of North Central Alabama, told commissioners that the Stepping Up Initiative would allow the center to hire a case manager to coordinate between the Morgan County Jail, Decatur Morgan Hospital, and other county hospitals to help identify and communicate about those who have a mental illness.

Training the Brain to Stay out of Jail

Turning Leaf’s model—which has few counterparts, according to a survey of experts and of comparable programs on the National Reentry Resource Center’s website—is to pay formerly incarcerated people to take at least 150 hours of cognitive behavioral therapy, a “dosage” that research shows patients need in order to change a habit.

Why This Man Crusades for Mental Health after Nearly 30 Years in Prison

Thad Tatum is one of the founders of Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), a nonprofit whose mission centers around advocating for and empowering those personally affected by the criminal justice system. A small part of the New Orleans-based organization’s efforts involves fostering an open dialogue around mental health and the trauma that incarceration may cause.

Locked up for Three Decades without a Trial

In some states, including New York, authorities can keep attempting to restore a defendant’s mental capacity until the person has served two-thirds of the maximum sentence he or she would receive if eventually found guilty. Mario Ramos’s maximum sentence is life in prison, and so he sits trapped in Rikers, serving out two-thirds of his life, an unofficial sentence with no verdict and no certain end point.

Police, Social Worker Join Forces for Mental-Health Calls

Police officers are being asked more and more to act as social workers. Now officers in Janesville Wisconsin are getting help from a real social worker in dealing with people having mental-health crises. “I wish we had enough money to do it at every police department,” said Lt. Mike Blaser, the department’s lead crisis intervention officer.