In January 2013, Senators Al Franken (D-MN) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Representatives Richard Nugent (R-FL) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced S. 162/H.R. 401, the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013 (JMHCA). The legislation was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last June and has 64 cosponsors in Congress.
News and Announcements
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation recently released Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prison.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) released a new policy brief in partnership with the Legal Action Center today, entitled Medicaid and Financing Health Care for Individuals Involved with the Criminal Justice System.
In this congressional briefing hosted by Sen. Chris Murphy (CT) and moderated by Council of State Governments Justice Center Director Michael Thompson, state and federal leaders will discuss successful, bipartisan approaches taken in Connecticut, Ohio, and Texas to address youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Not only have these states saved millions of dollars in spending and made changes to ineffective policies, but they have improved outcomes for children while keeping communities safe.
District Attorney Susan Reed of Bexar County, Texas has been appointed to the Council of State Governments Justice Center’s (CSG Justice Center) Board of Directors.
Washington, D.C.—In an extraordinary display of bipartisan cooperation, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Congressmen Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Howard Coble (R-NC), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) came together today to mark the five-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act and to announce that they, along with other Senate and House leaders, will be introducing legislation reauthorizing the landmark act today. To read the press release for this event, click here.
Washington, D.C.— White House staff joined leaders from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice at a forum today entitled Bridging Reentry and Workforce Development: A Shared Approach to Strengthening Communities. The event was cohosted by the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) of the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and its partners at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
NEW YORK—The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) applauded members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for their overwhelmingly bipartisan vote to approve the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act (JMHCA) of 2013. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and U.S. Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) in late January, builds upon the successes of Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) and supports law enforcement training, mental health and veterans treatment courts, and resources for corrections systems and other collaborative approaches to improve responses to people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system. The bill now goes to a vote of the full Senate, before moving to the House of Representatives.
LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Law Revision Commission (MLRC) today launched a review of the state’s sentencing guidelines using a data-driven Justice Reinvestment approach to control corrections spending and reinvest a portion of the savings in strategies to reduce recidivism, hold offenders accountable and increase public safety. The process will include a review of the state’s 15-year-old sentencing guidelines.
WELLSBURG, W.Va. – On a visit to recognize the first adult drug court in West Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ceremonially signed Senate Bill 371, the Justice Reinvestment legislation, which is designed to increase public safety and improve the effectiveness of West Virginia’s criminal justice system by expanding the use of these types of drug courts throughout the state, among other changes.
TOPEKA, Kan.–Kansas Governor Sam Brownback today held a ceremonial signing for HB 2170, a bill that makes significant modifications to the state’s probation and post-release supervision policies with the goal of improving public safety while keeping corrections costs in check. The legislation stems from recommendations made by a bipartisan, inter-branch working group of Kansans over the past year.
TOPEKA, Kan.—The bipartisan Kansas Justice Reinvestment initiative, a research and data-driven program aimed at promoting public safety while reducing corrections spending, took one step closer to reality on March 1.
Justice Center in the News
Since 1980, Michigan’s biggest growth industry has been its prison system.
Get ready to hear a lot more about big changes, specifically sentencing reform, in relation Alabama’s prison crisis.
The Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental Affairs and Military Affairs, and the House Committee on Public Safety held a joint informational briefing on the status of the implementation of the Hawaii Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) yesterday.
As Idaho officials have begun considering the implementation of the state’s sweeping new prison reform law passed by the Legislature, two key state agencies are taking a hard look at current usages of some very specific government services. Additionally, policy experts from a national nonprofit group that advised the Legislature on the undertaking of the reforms are working with the state to aid in its implementation.
Gov. Robert Bentley, Chief Justice Roy Moore and four lawmakers said Tuesday they had formally requested to be part of a federal program aimed at helping states cut corrections spending.
MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Gov. Robert Bentley formally announced today that Alabama has requested assistance from outside groups that could “transform the landscape of our criminal justice system for the better.”
Gov. Robert Bentley and other state officials are asking the Council of State Governments Justice Center for help in improving the state’s troubled prison system.
After three months in jail on a theft charge, Vincent Garcia had prepared last week to collect his wallet and keys and turn in his orange scrubs upon release.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and his new correction commissioner, Joseph Ponte, have inherited a city jail system in which nearly 40 percent of the 12,000 inmates have mental illnesses — up from about a quarter just seven years ago.
Has America’s criminal justice system inadvertently become a storehouse for people with behavioral health problems?
For Nicole Jarrett, PhD, a senior policy analyst with the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, the question is more than academic.