Since its inception in June 2015, the local Stepping Up Initiative has continued to make long and swift strides in treatment for those with mental health issues in Pettis County, Massachusetts.
Mental Health Media Clips
Hundreds of law enforcement professionals from across the U.S. raised their hands to answer a simple question on Monday: “How many in this group (have) a story – either personal or (professional) – about confronting somebody with a mental health problem?” National Sheriff’s Association Director Jonathan Thompson asked.
Winona County, Minnesota recently won $450,000 in federal and state grants to fix problems with how the criminal justice system handles mental illness and to help ex-offenders move successfully from jail to jobs.
Minnehaha County, South Dakota officials signed a letter of commitment Tuesday to join the White House’s latest effort to lessen the burden on local jails.
“This task force is focused on finding ways to stop the revolving door of incarceration for people with mental illness and to provide them with treatment,” said Attorney General DeWine.
As a public defender, Janet Thompson was dismissed for her ideas on improving mental health services to prevent those suffering from mental illness from landing in the criminal justice system. Thompson, now Boone County Northern District, Missouri commissioner, has spearheaded the Stepping Up Initiative in her district.
Richard Cho, behavioral health director of CSG Justice Center, participated in an annual Tulsa symposium on mental health last week that brought home the reality of efforts to combat the problems of addiction and mental illness and distress: that the war must be waged on many fronts.
“I’ve been talking for years now about prison overcrowding and jail overcrowding and the efforts that we’ve made to reduce the population the best we can,” said Sebastian County, Arkansas Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck.
“The goal is by 2020 to have lowered the number of people that are in the jail simply for mental health reasons by a third,” said Amy Ikerd, assistant prosecuting attorney in Mercer County, Ohio.
“I was putting people in jail thinking that they would get treatment because I didn’t know any better,” said Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.