Substance Abuse Posts

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

Megan Quattlebaum Named Director of the CSG Justice Center

The Council of State Governments (CSG) recently announced that Megan Quattlebaum, research scholar in law at Yale University Law School and lecturer in law at Columbia University Law School, will be the next director of The CSG Justice Center.

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

Second Chance Act Spotlight: Ronald Forbes

A 55-year-old U.S. Army veteran, Ronald Forbes is on the brink of expanding his Oakland, California-based catering company in partnership with his sister, Catherine. Soon, he’ll move the business to a commercial space, but for now he’s practicing his recipes for barbecue chicken, ribs, and his mom’s potato salad at home.

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

Second Chance Act Participant Spotlight: Sharon Hadley, Harris County, Texas

When Sharon Hadley arrived at Santa Maria Hostel in July 2012, she had just completed the latest in her decade-long string of sentences for drug-related offenses. “Now that I look back over my life, I can see how the wheels started coming off even before I really knew it,” Hadley said. “I recidivated 13 times. Each incarceration was longer and longer, and I was more and more hopeless.”

North Dakota Allocates M for Addiction Treatment and Passes Bills to Help Reduce Prison Population Growth

North Dakota Allocates $7M for Addiction Treatment and Passes Bills to Help Reduce Prison Population Growth

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed legislation on April 21 that enables the state to appropriate $7 million from the general fund to increase the quality of community-based behavioral health treatment for people in the criminal justice system and an additional half a million dollars to increase the number of treatment providers to serve this population, which can significantly reduce recidivism and improve public health outcomes.

Pennsylvania Stepping Up Initiative to Tackle Mental Illness in County Jails

Pennsylvania Stepping Up Initiative to Tackle Mental Illness in County Jails

“Every single meeting that I have with law enforcement, the number one issue that comes up is about people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system,” said John Wetzel, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and chair of the CSG Justice Center board. “That’s why I’m excited about the Stepping Up Initiative, which takes a data-driven approach to solving this problem and addressing the needs of the individual at the local level.”

In ‘Cures’ Bill, Keys to Further Criminal Justice Improvements

In ‘Cures’ Bill, Keys to Further Criminal Justice Improvements

Before the confetti is swept up in celebration of the President’s signing of the 21st Century Cures Act, let’s make sure an important takeaway isn’t lost in the fanfare: this bipartisan bill also illustrates the type of improvements to the criminal justice system everyone can get behind.

U.S. Senate Approves 21st Century Cures Act

U.S. Senate Approves 21st Century Cures Act

Within the wide range of initiatives the omnibus bill supports are several significant criminal justice reform measures related to the issue of mental health, including the enactment of the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act and the reauthorization of the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act.

New England Conference Highlights Regional Approach to Reentry

New England Conference Highlights Regional Approach to Reentry

The conference, which was hosted by United States attorneys of the six New England Districts—Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine—uplifted the region’s approach to reentry efforts. Rather than focusing on individual locales, service providers, policymakers, and correctional agencies throughout New England collaborate to ensure a unified approach.

Medication-Assisted Treatment: Federal Investment and Local Implementation

Medication-Assisted Treatment: Federal Investment and Local Implementation

“[These] actions represent further steps to expand access to treatment, prevent overdose deaths, and increase community prevention strategies,” said the Obama Administration in an announcement in March. “These actions build on the president’s proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need.

Hamilton Project Panel Stresses Importance of Reentry Programs

Hamilton Project Panel Stresses Importance of Reentry Programs

Individual panelists offered differing perspectives on what work needs to be done to reduce recidivism, but the group agreed that there are a number of straightforward, nonpartisan measures that state and local governments can adopt in order to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

A Message from The CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

A Message from The CSG Justice Center’s Executive Committee Chair and Vice-Chair

The tragedies of the past week weigh heavily on us. As public safety officials in our respective states, we were outraged to see the very people working to protect the public murdered because of the uniform they wear. We also feel deeply for residents of communities who, because of the color of their skin, fear the people who have sworn an oath to protect them.

Franklin County, Salt Lake County Each Allocate Millions to Improve Local Jail Systems

Franklin County, Salt Lake County Each Allocate Millions to Improve Local Jail Systems

Two counties—one in Ohio, the other in Utah—are backing their words with action following separate reports from The Council of State Governments Justice Center that highlighted major disparities in the length of time people with serious mental illnesses stay in each county’s local jail and the rate at which they’re rearrested following their release compared to people with out these illnesses.

A Second Chance at Recovery for Women in Wilmington, North Carolina

RESET, which is funded by a 2014 Second Chance Act grant, is a six-month program designed specifically for women and implemented through a partnership between a residential reentry center and a nonprofit behavioral health agency. A typical participant in RESET has a co-occurring substance use and mental disorder and a moderate- to high-risk of committing another crime.

Berrien County, MI, Expands Training, Collaboration Around Juvenile Justice

Berrien County, MI, Expands Training, Collaboration Around Juvenile Justice

The Family Division of the Berrien County Trial Court in Michigan decided in 2001 that its juvenile justice practices simply weren’t working. That meant restructuring the county’s juvenile justice procedures around evidence-based practices, starting by using risk assessments to determine which youth were more likely to commit another offense and thus required more intensive interventions and supervision.

Q&A with Julian Adler of the Red Hook Community Justice Center

Q&A with Julian Adler of the Red Hook Community Justice Center

As the nation’s first multijurisdictional community court, the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn has served as a neighborhood hub for clinical services, community service, youth programs, and other social supports since its founding in 2000.

DC Courts Are Connecting Individuals with On-Site Treatment

DC Courts Are Connecting Individuals with On-Site Treatment

Having an urgent care clinic located only feet away from courtrooms allows judges and court staff to guarantee that people have access to services. For many defendants, this may be the first contact they’ve had with a mental health professional. Moreover, for some, this treatment may well reduce the likelihood that they will be arrested in the future.

DC Policymakers, Employers, and Community Leaders Discuss the Hiring of Individuals with Criminal Records

DC Policymakers, Employers, and Community Leaders Discuss the Hiring of Individuals with Criminal Records

Each year, 8,000 individuals leave prison or jail and return to their communities in Washington, DC. Within three years, however, about half of them will be reincarcerated. Studies show that having a stable job after release from incarceration can reduce recidivism. Yet a 2011 survey of 550 formerly incarcerated people in DC found that 46 percent of them reported being unemployed.

Salt Lake County Launches Study of Criminal Justice System

Salt Lake County Launches Study of Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) today announced plans for a comprehensive analysis of Salt Lake County’s jail population in an effort to identify ways to reduce reoffense rates among people released from jail and design strategies to improve outcomes for the large portion of the jail population struggling with mental and/or substance use disorders.

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant Recipients Convene for Orientation and Training

Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program Grant Recipients Convene for Orientation and Training

To help federal grant recipients learn how to develop successful criminal justice and mental health collaborations, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, hosted its fifth annual training and orientation conference, “Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery” on May 13–14 in National Harbor, Maryland.

2014 State-of-the-States

In state-of-the-state addresses across the country this year, governors noted significant improvements to their states’ criminal justice systems. No longer solely focused on imposing tougher penalties for all crimes, states are increasingly making efforts to strengthen community supervision and use […]

Kansas Increases Access to Behavioral Health Services for People on Community Supervision

Kansas Increases Access to Behavioral Health Services for People on Community Supervision

As part of implementing the state’s justice reinvestment legislation, which Governor Sam Brownback signed into law in May 2013, Kansas has allocated this upfront “reinvestment” to hire 40 experienced service providers in community corrections departments and community-based organizations throughout Kansas to increase access to behavioral health treatment for people on probation.

Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change Resource Center

Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change Resource Center

This new online resource center from the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice at Policy Research Inc. offers a collection of resources that focus on the following topics: mental health screening, diversion models, mental health training for juvenile justice staff and police, evidence-based practices, family involvement, and juvenile competency.

Smarter Sentencing

Smarter Sentencing

This video series from the Justice Management Institute provides a brief overview of sentencing and corrections in the U.S., the Risk-Need-Responsivity principles, and the characteristics of effective change management efforts. The series can be used as an introduction to the […]

MentalHealth.gov Launched

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the launch of MentalHealth.gov, an online resource about mental health. This website provides information about the signs of mental illness, how individuals can seek help, and how […]

Three New Focus Areas Added to the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center), the Urban Institute, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are excited to announce the expansion of three new focus areas on the What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) website—Substance Abuse, Family programs, […]

New Mental Health Court Standards Training in Georgia

On May 21-22, 2013, nearly 170 mental health court team members from 22 programs from around the state attended the “2013 Georgia Mental Health Courts: Applying New Standards in Atlanta” training. The Judicial Council of Georgia, the policy-making arm of […]

The Second Chance Act: The First Five Years

This month marks the five-year anniversary of the Second Chance Act, the landmark legislation authorizing federal grants to support programs aimed at improving outcomes for people leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities and reducing recidivism. The bill also funds research […]

Incorporating Dual Diagnosis Treatment

The co-occurrence of mental health and substance use disorders is very common among people in the criminal justice system, impacting their recovery paths, creating stress for their families, and affecting public safety and spending. Integrated treatment has been demonstrated as […]

How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Your Program?

This presentation was delivered at the 2013 JMHCP National Training and Technical Assistance Event. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes significant changes to the nation’s health care system, including what services must be covered by health insurance, who is eligible and […]

Recovery-Oriented Criminal Justice Programming

Recovery is defined by SAMHSA as “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” Practitioners are increasingly working to make collaborative criminal justice and behavioral […]

Targeting the Right People for the Right Interventions

This presentation was delivered at the 2013 JMHCP National Training and Technical Assistance Event. Individuals involved in the criminal justice system have a wide range of needs, particularly those with mental health and/or substance use disorders. There is no one-size-fits-all approach […]

Congressional Staff Briefed on Law Enforcement Responses to People with Mental Illnesses

Washington, D.C. — Law enforcement officials, judicial leaders, and behavioral health experts came together on March 6 to brief Congressional staff on the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) and the collaborative criminal justice-mental health programs that it supports. Dr. Fred Osherof the Council of State Governments Justice Center, Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Police, Inspector Bryan Schafer of the Minneapolis (MN) Police Department, and Judge Steven Leifman of Miami-Dade County Court spoke to key stakeholders and staff from numerous congressional offices, representing members of both parties.

As some of the nation’s foremost experts on implementing collaborative criminal justice-mental health programs, the panelists each shared their perspectives and/or experiences. Their testimonies underscored the fact that programs supported by MIOTCRA and similar grant initiatives are contributing in significant ways towards ending the cycles of arrest and incarceration for people with mental illnesses.

FY2011 JMHCP Grantee Orientation Event Agenda: March 8-9, 2012

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. To download a PDF of the agenda, click here. THURSDAY, MARCH 8th 8:00 am – 8:30 am Check-in and Registration [Empire Foyer] 8:30 am – 9:15 am Welcome and Introductions [Empire Ballroom] • Ruby Qazilbash, […]

Report Highlights Need for Changes in Oklahoma’s Behavioral Health Policies

Oklahoma policymakers have recently partnered with the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in a comprehensive effort to reduce crime and corrections costs in the state. Early last month, the CSG Justice Center recommended that policymakers increase the number of crisis stabilization beds and treatment facilities in the state for individuals with acute mental health needs. The recommendation is one of several “justice reinvestment” measures outlined in a CSG Justice Center report on ways to improve efficiency in the state’s criminal justice system and reinvest savings in programs that increase public safety.

To read “Justice Reinvestment in Oklahoma: Analysis and Policy Framework,” click here.

State lawmakers are looking at the impact that shortages of crisis stabilization and treatment beds have had on municipal law enforcement agencies. The CSG Justice Center report shows how a shortage of crisis stabilization beds in Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city, has forced local law enforcement officers to expend significant time and resources transporting individuals to mental health facilities across the state. Officers made 180 such trips last year—traveling an average of 229 miles each trip, according to data analyzed by CSG Justice Center researchers.

Transporting individuals in crisis across the state has had a dramatic impact on health and budget outcomes. Not only does it delay connecting individuals to critical treatment services; it also removes officers from their regular duties (the state requires two officers for every transport). The agency must pay significant transportation costs, salaries for the officers making the trip, and overtime pay for officers required to compensate for the diverted patrol presence.

“Some smaller departments might have three, four, or five officers on the streets on a daily basis. When there aren’t enough [treatment] beds in Tulsa and you need to take someone somewhere else, you are taking officers off the street for two to four hours, or even more,” said Chief Ike Shirley, head of the police department in Bixby (a small city just outside Tulsa).

Sites Selected to Pilot New Mental Health Court Curriculum

The Council of State Governments Justice Center has identified four jurisdictions to serve as “pilot sites” for its forthcoming curriculum for practitioners interested in developing mental health courts. Stakeholders from the pilot jurisdictions will use an advance version of the course, which includes online presentations and group activities, and participate in focus groups throughout the fall and winter to help authors finalize it for broad release. The Justice Center will release the final version of the curriculum online–where users can access it for free–in spring 2012.

To continue reading, click here.

Spotlight on JMHCP: State of Alabama

Each month, the Justice Center spotlights high-quality collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Justice Center staff members ask the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts, a 2009 planning and implementation grantee.

Project Summary:

The Alabama JMHCP project aims to build capacity for state-level training and technical assistance for jurisdictions interested in or already operating mental health courts or mental health diversion programs. On October 13–15, 2010, the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) hosted the first Alabama Mental Health Court Conference. John Houston, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health (DMH), and Callie T. Dietz, administrative director of courts, opened the conference by stressing the importance of cross-system collaboration in times of jail and prison overcrowding and diminishing resources. About 150 judges, attorneys, treatment providers, and community corrections officers from around the state participated in two-and-a-half days of presentations and breakout sessions led by national experts and practitioners from existing Alabama mental health courts. The conference agenda is available here.

In the next year, the Alabama grantees will prepare for a second conference scheduled for the fall of 2011, continue development of a technical assistance “toolkit” that will include sample forms and access to existing state and national resources, and develop suggestions for standardized data collection across Alabaman mental health courts.

Spotlight on JMHCP: Judiciary of Guam

Each month the Justice Center spotlights collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Justice Center staff members ask the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from the Judiciary of Guam, a 2008 Planning and Implementation grantee.

Program Summary

Guam, a United States territory in the Western Pacific, received a JMHCP planning and implementation grant in 2008 to develop a mental health court. The Judiciary of Guam and the Guam Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (DMHSA) collaborated in a planning process that led to the opening of the Guam Mental Health Court (Guam MHC) in May 2009. The Guam MHC targets adult offenders with serious mental illnesses or developmental disabilities who are charged with nonviolent crimes and express interest in treatment. The court provides much-needed structure for, and coordination of, mental health and substance use services in a jurisdiction with limited health care resources.

New Approaches to Veterans Involved in the Criminal Justice System

With a growing awareness of the mental health problems facing many recent U.S. Armed Services veterans and some evidence of its impact on their involvement with the criminal justice system, there is increasing interest in the field in diversion programs that particularly address veterans’ concerns. In response to this interest, the Justice Center has compiled the brief summary below of some of the new programs and initiatives targeting veterans with mental health conditions involved with the justice system.

Spotlight on JMHCP: Deschutes County, Oregon

Each month the Justice Center spotlights collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Center staff asks the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from Deschutes County, Oregon, a 2008 Implementation and Expansion grantee.

Program Summary

The Deschutes County Mental Health Court in central Oregon received an expansion grant to increase access to services for its target population: moderate- to high-risk adults who have pled guilty to a misdemeanor or felony crime, have a diagnosed mental illness or dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse, and demonstrate a willingness to participate in the program as an alternative to incarceration in the county’s jail facility.

The expansion builds on a program in place since 2002 through a partnership among the Deschutes County Mental Health Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the Circuit Court, and the Alternatives to Incarceration Committee in Deschutes County. Under the expansion grant, the program, which serves a mostly rural community, has grown to include twenty-five participants at a given time–double its initial size. The mental health court has also increased awareness and understanding about mental health issues in the criminal justice system through educational programs aimed at attorneys and local law enforcement.

Smart Responses in Tough Times: Materials from the Justice Center and BJA 2009 Technical Assistance and Training Event.

The Justice Center, in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice, hosted a national technical assistance and training event on July 15-17, 2009 in Washington, DC. Speakers at this event provided training to nearly 500 representatives from state and local governments and community-based programs who are working to improve how the justice system addresses adults and juveniles with mental illnesses. Smart
Responses in Tough Times: Achieving Better Outcomes for People with Mental Illnesses Involved in the Criminal Justice System
was the largest
training forum ever organized by BJA on this topic.

JMHCP Spotlight: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Each month the Justice Center spotlights collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives that have received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). Center staff ask the practitioners in these programs to discuss some successes and challenges they have encountered in the planning and implementation process. This month’s profile is from the Kalamazoo Mental Health Court.

Legislative Roundup: State Governments Tackle Mental Health and Criminal Justice Issues

From a new court rule in Idaho that expands the reach of mental health courts to enhanced mental health training requirements for police officers in Indiana and Oklahoma, state legislatures across the country continued to prioritize criminal justice and mental health issues throughout 2008. The Justice Center has compiled a list of several state laws that passed in 2008 focused on individuals with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system

Legislative Round Up: State Governments Tackle Mental Health and Criminal Justice Issues

State governments across the country are engaged in a wide range of legislative and budgetary efforts to improve the response to individuals with mental illnesses in contact with–or are at risk of contact with–the criminal justice system. Council of State Governments Justice Center (Justice Center) staff have identified a sampling of diverse state-level approaches to addressing criminal justice/mental health issues that have been signed into law over the past two years.

Hurricane Katrina and the Orleans Parish Mental Health Court

Just a few months ago, staff and case managers at the Orleans Parish Mental Health Court (MHC) were collecting outcome data and exploring ways to increase the court’s capacity beyond 100 participants. Today, using an office in Baton Rouge as their temporary headquarters, staff are scattered across the region searching for court participants displaced by Hurricane Katrina, wondering when they might return to their Tulane Avenue courthouse and offices.