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 Illnesses

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

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

Reentry Conference and Resource Fair

Reentry Conference and Resource Fair

Hosted by the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns, this conference will discuss the challenges that individuals returning home from incarceration face, as well as the best practices to address these challenges. It will also feature nonprofits and agencies that are working to support individuals returning home from incarceration.

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.

Publications

Mental Health Screening in Juvenile Justice Services

Mental Health Screening in Juvenile Justice Services

Using results from a 51-jurisdiction survey, this brief from the National Center for Juvenile Justice provides an overview of standardized mental health screening tools that are required at the state-level in juvenile detention, probation, and correction settings.

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.

The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story

The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story

The report examines the sexual abuse to prison pipeline for girls, a phenomenon in which sexual abuse experienced by girls is one of the primary predictors of their involvement with the juvenile justice system.

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

Locked in Solitary at 14: Adult Jails Isolate Youths Despite Risk

Solitary confinement is increasingly being questioned — by mental health officials, criminologists and, most recently, President Obama. Experts say its effects on juveniles can be particularly damaging because their minds and bodies are still developing, putting them at greater risk of psychological harm and leading to depression and other mental health problems.

New Approach to Housing Santa Clara County Homeless

In what’s being called the first program of its kind in the state, Santa Clara County is partnering with a housing nonprofit and private organizations to get 150 to 200 chronically homeless folks off the street — and will only pay for the effort if it succeeds. Many of the individuals that the program targets have had contact with the criminal justice system and/or have two or three significant disabilities—mental health, physical disabilities, drug and alcohol addiction, veterans with PTSD,and more.

L.A. County to Relocate Some Inmates, Build Jail to Treat the Mentally Ill

Setting a future course for the troubled Los Angeles County jail system, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a plan to move at least 1,000 mentally ill offenders out of lockups and voted to build a state-of-the-art jail focused on mental health treatment. The moves come in response to a growing debate about how the county incarcerates its inmates — particularly the mentally ill, who make up 20% of the roughly 17,000 people behind bars.

Advocates Say Mental Health ‘Parity’ Law is Not Fulfilling its Promise

The so-called parity law, which was intended to equalize coverage of mental and other medical conditions, has gone a long way toward eliminating obvious discrepancies in insurance coverage. But many insurers have continued to limit treatment through other strategies that are harder to track, according to researchers, attorneys and other critics.

Miami’s Model for Decriminalizing Mental Illness in America

Miami-Dade County has long had a more acute problem than most. By one estimate, more than 9 percent of Miami residents suffer from a mental illness–a rate that is approximately three times higher than the national average. Yet over the course of the past decade, Miami-Dade County has emerged as a national model for how a county can develop strategies to combat the criminalization of mental illness.