Highlighting the role of police departments in advancing these approaches, BJA announced the Police-Mental Health Collaboration (PMHC) Toolkit at the 2016 International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego, California. The PMHC Toolkit was developed in partnership with The Council of State Governments Justice Center and gathers best practices and resources to help law enforcement agencies partner with mental health providers to respond appropriately and safely to people with mental illnesses.
Law Enforcement Posts
Recently, the FBI released its annual report on crime, which included distressing news: violent crime—while still at levels far below what it was 20 years ago—increased between 2014 and 2015. Whenever elected officials see anything indicating their constituents are less safe, they are understandably and appropriately anxious.
Since the mental health court was implemented, everyone who is booked into the Joplin City Jail is given a brief mental health screen, a process that Jail Administrator Shane Dotson said was unprecedented in Joplin prior to the establishment of the mental health court program.
Following in the footsteps of two Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grantees—Olathe and Overland Park, Kansas—11 other cities in Johnson County, Kansas, will partner with the Johnson County Mental Health Center to implement a mental health co-responder program this year.
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.
Megan Younger, a social worker with 16 years of experience in emergency mental health services, has been the designated co-responder embedded in the Overland Park Police Department since May 2014, a position made possible by a Bureau of Justice Assistance Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grant awarded to the City of Overland Park in 2013.
While the guide was developed as a tool for JMHCP grantees, the exercises and supporting resources may be helpful for other collaborative criminal justice-mental health programs.
Following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s backing of legislation to provide greater sentencing flexibility for certain low-level drug offenders, President Barack Obama advocated for a fairer and more effective criminal justice system guided by data and evidence-based approaches.
The national prison population fell 1 percent from 2013 to 2014—down 15,400 to 1,561,500—making it the smallest total prison population since 2005.
31 Days, 31 Stories, a series released during National Mental Health Awareness Month, highlighted champions who are dedicated in their everyday work to reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in the criminal justice system.
“Think of this training as another set of skills to add to your toolkit,” Webb told the class. “These techniques truly are applicable to a variety of groups and situations, and when you encounter a situation, then you have options—you can decide which tool to use.”
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.
President Obama unveiled his nearly $4 trillion budget proposal for 2016 this month, which allocates $1.14 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance.
On December 1, 2014, the White House announced its plans to strengthen community policing, increase police accountability, and build trust between local law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Since 2010, the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MN DOC) has partnered with NAMI to implement a CIT program in the state’s prison system to help prison staff respond effectively to people with mental illnesses.
Congress took a significant first step toward continuing the work of the Second Chance Act today as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reauthorize the bipartisan bill.
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.
In February 2014, President Obama announced the historic My Brother’s Keeper initiative, an effort to provide greater opportunities to boys and young men of color, who as a group face disproportionate challenges and obstacles in school, with the criminal justice system, and within their communities and families.
In October 2013, 104 government agencies and nonprofit organizations across the country were awarded grants through the Second Chance Act to help improve the outcomes for and reduce recidivism among individuals leaving prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities.
On January 16, 2014 Congress passed the $1 trillion omnibus federal spending package, which includes a $51.6 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill. Under this bill, the Second Chance Act would receive $67.7 million in funding, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) would receive $8.2 million, and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative would receive $27.5 million, which includes $1 million for the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.
On January 13, 2014 the House and Senate appropriators released the $1 trillion omnibus federal spending package, which includes a $51.6 billion Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill.
Washington, D.C. – Speakers representing California local governments and law enforcement agencies briefed congressional staffers and national groups today on the successes and promise of California’s “Public Safety Realignment” process.
As one of six Law Enforcement–Mental Health learning sites selected by the Council of State Governments Justice Center (CSG Justice Center) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Madison (WI) Police Department’s Mental Health Liaison Program is an example of how community partners can collaborate to provide police services to people with mental illnesses.
The growing number of law enforcement incidents that involve people with mental illnesses has intensified the need for specialized police responses in these situations. Developing such responses is becoming an increasing priority for all of those in public safety and […]
Over the course of a year, 17-year-old Robert became increasingly reclusive. He had stopped eating regularly and was often angry and easily agitated to the point of threatening his mother. On one such occasion, his mother feared for her safety and called the police. Officers assigned to a specially trained crisis intervention team (CIT) responded and persuaded Robert to let his mother take him to a hospital.
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.
Once officials in Johnson County, Kan., recognized that they faced a major problem with the growing number of people with mental illnesses in the justice system, they were presented with a significant dilemma: How do you design a systemwide response in the absence of reliable data that demonstrates what type of intervention will have the greatest impact?
In August, the Justice Center launched a new online discussion forum, where policymakers and practitioners from across the country can exchange ideas, direct questions to each other and national experts, offer comments and suggestions, and network around their collaborative criminal justice/mental health initiatives. The forum is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, U. S. Department of Justice. To access the forum, click here.
Take a look at what’s being discussed on the forum:
Question: “Can anyone point me in the direction of federal grants for CIT? The more specific the better.”
Answer: “The federal funding cycle for FY10 is currently closed, although some RFPs for FY11 have been released. In particular, I would recommend looking into the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) (www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/) and possibly funding opportunities through the COPS (Community Orientated Policing Services) Office (http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/)…”
To read more of this thread, or to post a response, please click here.
To start your own discussion, please click here.
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 Beaver County, Pennsylvania, a 2009 Planning grantee.
Brief Background on the Jurisdiction
Beaver County, Pennsylvania, is a semi-rural county, located thirty miles northwest of Pittsburgh. It is an economically diverse area, with a total population of about 180,000. For more than ten years, the Beaver County Behavioral Health (BCBH) and the Beaver County criminal justice systems have worked collaboratively, leading to the development of an outpatient behavioral health “satellite” in the courthouse and a similar opportunity for outpatient services in the local jail, a Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team, a re-entry liaison, specialized probation officers, and re-entry vocational support services.
The Winnebago County (Ill.) Therapeutic Intervention Program is a pre- and post-booking program. The pre-booking component consists of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) law enforcement officers diverting individuals with mental illnesses to the mental health system instead of the criminal justice system.
Programs that improve outcomes for people involved with the criminal justice and mental health systems typically originate at the local level. But sooner or later, statewide coordination and leadership are needed to sustain and promote these innovative local efforts.