“Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prison” Highlighted in Colorado

June 5, 2014

Evidence-based approaches and strategies for the successful reentry of individuals returning home from incarceration who also have mental and/or co-occurring substance use disorders was the subject of a recent training session led by the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center). The session, held at the Annual Colorado Collaborative Justice Conference on May 15, also introduced a recently released resource, Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prison. The resource was developed by the CSG Justice Center in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA) GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation.

At the session, Alex Blandford, CSG Justice Center Policy Analyst and co-author of the publication, introduced 10 guidelines that stress the importance of partnerships between criminal justice and behavioral health professionals, to maximize the potential for positive outcomes among individuals with mental and/or co-occurring substance use disorders who transition home from incarceration. The guidelines also provide information and strategies on developing successful approaches for identifying people in need of services, determining which services they need, and addressing these needs during their transition from incarceration to community-based treatment and supervision. Intended for an audience of criminal justice and behavioral health administrators and practitioners, the guidelines incorporate the principles outlined in Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery; A Best Practice Approach to Community Reentry from Jail for Inmates with Co-occurring Disorders: The APIC Model; and evidence-based practices and programs.

The annual Colorado Collaborative Justice Conference, designed for statewide problem-solving court teams and local treatment boards, emphasized the importance of creating collaborative relationships across the criminal justice continuum to produce effective responses that reduce recidivism and advance recovery. Participants at the training included representatives from existing drug courts, mental health courts, and reentry programs in Colorado, as well as other criminal justice and mental health practitioners.

To view Guidelines for the Successful Transition of People with Behavioral Health Disorders from Jail and Prisons, click here. To view a summary of the guidelines, click here.

For more information on the 2014 Colorado Collaborative Justice Conference, click here.

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