March 30, 2016

With more people with mental illnesses in jails than ever before

 

County leaders across the country, from jurisdictions of all sizes, have united around one central truth: Jails can no longer be used as de facto psychiatric facilities. With more people with mental illnesses in jails than ever before–the majority of whom are not a public safety risk–local budgets are strained, with jails spending two or three times more on people with mental illnesses than they do on people without those needs.

In May 2015, The Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation launched Stepping Up, an initiative designed to rally national leaders around the goal of achieving an actual reduction in the number of people with mental illnesses in jail. In order to ensure the initiative’s momentum translates into real impact, counties must solidify comprehensive plans that meet six key criteria.

 

At the local level, Stepping Up works with county elected officials who hold the communities’ purse strings to establish a firm commitment, develop plans consistent with best practices, and galvanize local action.

Stepping Up was launched in May 2015 as a partnership between The Council of State Governments Justice Center, National Association of Counties, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. The initiative is designed to rally national leaders around the goal of achieving an actual reduction in the number of people with mental illnesses in jail. More than 215 counties, both urban and rural, have passed resolutions to advance the goals of Stepping Up, and a majority of these counties have applied to be a part of a national, first-of-its-kind summit designed to help local policymakers and other stakeholders review and refine developed plans

[metaslider id=62511]

 

You might also be interested in

Racial Disparity Analysis Aims to Improve Data Collection in Montana’s Justice System

Montana's judicial branch is launching a data analysis of racial disparities in its criminal justice system.

Read More

New Federal Strategy to Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Public Safety: What States Need to Know

On June 23, President Biden unveiled a new strategy to direct significant federal funding and support to strengthen…

Read More

Senate Passes VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act

On July 20, the U.S. Senate passed the VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of…

Read More