In February, Lubbock County was named the first “Stepping Up Innovator County” in Texas, because of their initiatives to address mental health in the jail. They were also awarded the Justice in Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant.
Mental Health Media Clips
A person shot himself in front of Culpeper Police Officer John Slaughter about 15 years ago and it’s something he did not want to relive. Armed with training from the five-county Crisis Intervention Team of Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services, the 24-year law enforcement veteran was able to diffuse a potentially explosive situation last year that could have easily turned deadly.
Anderson County has launched a pilot program to address the mental health of detainees in the criminal justice system. It includes a mental health screening and so far, about 30 percent of individuals booked into the county’s detention center have self-reported mental health issues.
Since joining Stepping Up in 2016, Dakota County has made multiple key changes, said Angela Lockhart, the county’s integrated service delivery coordinator. About 15 other Minnesota counties are also part of the program, including Ramsey, Carver, Scott, and Hennepin.
On Monday, Cleveland County became one of a handful of Oklahoma counties to pass a Stepping Up resolution to commit to reducing the number of people with mental illness in jail. According to the Stepping Up website, Cleveland County may be only the third in the state to adopt this resolution, with the other two being Grant and Tulsa counties.
The three-day class at Consolidated Tribal Health in Redwood Valley was part of a push by local law enforcement and the county to give first responders more training and help in understanding mental health.
Ashley Adams, the nursing director for Pennsylvania’s Butler County jail, hopes that ultimately people with serious mental health problems have some place other to go other than jails, noting that she is part of a countywide committee involved in “Stepping Up,” a national organization devoted to reducing the number of mentally ill people being put in jail.
The grant continues established partnerships among the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Police Department, Acadiana Area Human Services District, Beacon Community Connections Inc., and 232-HELP.
A treatment alternative court program allows a misdemeanor defendant who pleads guilty to be transferred to the program for counseling and other support services, rather than punished.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has created a new division to expand efforts to help people living with mental illness in the justice system. The mental health division established Wednesday brings together deputy district attorneys with cases involving defendants who have been declared incompetent to stand trial or are seeking alternative sentences due to mental illness.