Mental Health

Recent Posts

Obama Supports ‘Second Chances’ for People Convicted of Nonviolent Offenses

Obama Supports ‘Second Chances’ for People Convicted of Nonviolent Offenses

After commuting the sentences of 46 people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes earlier in the week, President Barack Obama said in a major speech on July 14 at the NAACP that it was time to reduce sentences for people convicted of nonviolent crimes generally and to invest in helping formerly incarcerated people reenter society.

Bexar County Awarded Grant to Provide Attorneys to People with Mental Illness

Bexar County Awarded Grant to Provide Attorneys to People with Mental Illness

The Texas Indigent Defense Commission—chaired by Sharon Keller, presiding judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—unanimously approved a $600,000 grant to be dispersed over four years for the Bexar County (San Antonio) Public Defender’s Office to provide attorneys at the initial court hearings of people who are indigent and have mental illnesses.

Announcements

Live Forum Highlights Resources Available for Criminal Justice Agencies

Live Forum Highlights Resources Available for Criminal Justice Agencies

Hosted by the Community Corrections Collaborative Network, this live online discussion will address resources available through federal funding for community corrections and criminal justice agencies to help identify and address the needs of people in the system, particularly those with mental disorders and/or substance use disorders.

Register Now for ‘The Beat: A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Drug Courts’

Register Now for ‘The Beat: A Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Drug Courts’

This course, hosted by the National Drug Court Institute (NDCI), is designed to educate law enforcement officers on drug court programs and the role law enforcement plays on a drug court team—which also generally includes a judge, public defender/defense attorney, prosecutor, evaluator, treatment provider, and probation officer.

Webinars

Risk Need Responsivity 101: A Primer for SCA and JMHCP Grant Recipients

Risk Need Responsivity 101: A Primer for SCA and JMHCP Grant Recipients

This webinar provides foundational knowledge on RNR as well as guidance on understanding and implementing risk assessment tools as a way to direct resources and support recidivism-reduction strategies for criminal justice and social service agencies, practitioners, and policymakers.

Responding to the 2015 JMHCP Grant Program

Responding to the 2015 JMHCP Grant Program

In this webinar BJA representatives provide an overview of the JMHCP solicitation, discuss eligibility and application materials, and lead a question and answer session.

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

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.

Working with Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Working with Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

This webinar discusses the unique characteristics of youth with disabilities who are involved with the justice system and the implications of those characteristics when providing services within a secure care setting.

SSI/SSDI and Medicaid: Powerful Tools for Reentry Success

SSI/SSDI and Medicaid: Powerful Tools for Reentry Success

This CSG Justice Center hosted webinar provided an overview of eligibility criteria and the enrollment process for SSI/SSDI and Medicaid benefits; discussed the federal SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) training program as a way to improve enrollment; and offered success stories and lessons learned from the field.

Publications

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Adults

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Adults

Adults who are white, American Indian or Alaska Native, or identify as two or more races are more likely to use mental health services than any other ethnicity, according to this report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Why Public Health Practitioners Should Care About Job Prospects for People with Criminal Records

Why Public Health Practitioners Should Care About Job Prospects for People with Criminal Records

Children with parents who are unemployed are more likely to become involved with the justice system, according to an article published in the Harvard Public Health Review. The article discusses the importance of employment for people returning home from incarceration and their families, and highlights how barriers to stable employment fuel poverty, recidivism, and, ultimately, poor health in vulnerable populations.

Recent headlines

A Psychologist as Warden? Jail and Mental Illness Intersect in Chicago

Two of the nation’s largest jails — Rikers Island in New York and the county jail in Los Angeles — have agreed to operate under federal oversight, in part because of mistreatment of the mentally ill. Cook County Jail here in Chicago is already under such oversight and has become a model of sorts for other troubled institutions in how to deal with the mentally ill. It recently hosted delegations from Rikers Island and Los Angeles County.

State Pushes Medicaid Sign-Ups for Inmates

Three state agencies in Ohio are aggressively pushing to get the majority of the roughly 21,000 people who are released from prison every year enrolled in Medicaid up to 90 days before they walk out the door. Services don’t begin until they are released, unless they are hospitalized.

The ‘Shock of Confinement': The Grim Reality of Suicide in Jail

The grim reality is that jails have high suicide rates — higher than prisons. Part of the reason, says corrections expert and consultant Steve J. Martin, is what he calls the “shock of confinement.” Jails often house people who’ve never been in serious legal trouble before, and it can have a traumatic effect on them.

Why Does Pennsylvania Imprison So Many Mentally Ill People?

Based on an analysis of data from county and state prisons, PennLive estimates that nearly a third of Pennsylvania’s 87,756 inmates had a mental illness on an average day last year.It begs the question: Why are so many of the state’s mentally ill being locked up?

Evaluation Trumps Incarceration in L.A. Police Dept. Mental Health Efforts

“The LAPD has a multilayered approach, which is necessary for a more comprehensive response to connect individuals with mental illness to the most appropriate services needed,” said Nicola Smith-Kea, policy analyst for the Law Enforcement Program of the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

L.A. County Task Force Suggests Ways to Divert Mentally Ill from Jails

Cutting the number of mentally ill inmates in Los Angeles County’s jail system would require spending tens of millions of dollars on new treatment facilities and housing for offenders who would otherwise be released into homelessness, a long-awaited report concludes.
A task force of public officials and mental health advocates convened by Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey issued the report after spending more than a year studying how to divert mentally ill people from the criminal justice system.

No Escaping Medical Copayments, Even in Prison

Even going to prison doesn’t spare patients from having to pay medical copays. In response to the rapidly rising cost of providing health care, states are increasingly authorizing the collection of fees from prisoners for medical services they receive while in state prisons or local jails.

Dare County Gets Behind National Mental Health Initiative

Joining a growing effort to tackle what one official calls “a national crisis,” the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on July 20 to reduce the number of inmates with mental illness in the county jail. The board’s action came only days after North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory’s July 14 announcement that he was creating the North Carolina Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force in support of the national “Stepping Up” initiative on mental illness and incarceration.

Deschutes County Jail Testing Inmate Health Monitors

The Deschutes County jail is the first facility in the country to test the early alert system, which tracks health data and transfers it via radio communication to a console monitored by corrections staff, according to AliveLock CEO Melanie Bailey.