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.

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

The Stepping Up initiative recently launched a national effort to help counties collect accurate, accessible data on the number of people entering their jails who have mental illnesses. As part of the effort, seven rural and urban “Innovator Counties” have been selected as models for their expertise in accurately identifying these individuals and consistently collecting data on them.

Announcements

Register for Webinar: Understanding Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

Register for Webinar: Understanding Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in People Involved with the Criminal Justice System

In this webinar Leigh Ann Davis, director of the National Center on Criminal Justice & Disability, will discuss the differences and similarities between various kinds of behavioral health diagnoses and intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD), how to identify someone with I/DD, and tips for to work more effectively with people with I/DD in correctional settings.

Watch: Stepping Up–Collecting Data to Drive Change

Watch: Stepping Up–Collecting Data to Drive Change

Stepping Up recently premiered an animated video describing how counties can collect accurate, accessible data on the number of people entering their jails who have mental illnesses, a critical first step for making measurable reductions to the prevalence of mental illness in jails.

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

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.

Addiction Policy Forum Hospital Toolkit

Addiction Policy Forum Hospital Toolkit

This toolkit from the Addiction Policy Forum was designed to empower patients, families, emergency medicine providers, and policymakers to work collaboratively to identify patients in need of help, initiate evidence-based treatments, and connect patients and families to comprehensive support services.

Implications of the ACA Medicaid Expansion: A Look at the Data and Evidence

Implications of the ACA Medicaid Expansion: A Look at the Data and Evidence

This issue brief from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation examines data related to the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act, including savings related to offsetting state costs in other areas, including those related to behavioral health services, crime, and the criminal justice system.

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

This policy brief from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors discusses the economic costs of crime and the effectiveness of programs to reduce recidivism, focusing on programs delivered inside correctional facilities addressing three main areas: mental health, substance abuse, and education.

Recent headlines

Opinion: If Addiction Is a Disease, Why Is Relapsing a Crime?

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.

Opinion: ‘Stepping Up’ for Pacific County

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.

Editorial: Fort Smith Area Takes Mental Health Seriously

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.

Mental Health Co-Responder Program Earns National Award

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.

Poughkeepsie Police and Social Workers Patrol Together

In a recent press release, Poughkeepsie’s police chief said that since more foot patrols like the Behavioral Evaluation and Assistance Team have been added, the department is receiving fewer calls for service, and departments in neighboring communities are seeking out grants to start similar programs.

School-Based Mental Health Centers Play Vital Role for Hispanic and Black Students

In 2015, 36 percent of Hispanic high schools students and 27.3 percent of black students reported feeling so sad or hopeless every day for two or more weeks that they stopped doing some of their usual activities, according to the state Department of Public Health’s 2015 Connecticut Youth Risk Behavior Survey. By comparison, 22.6 percent of white students answered the same.