The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), is collaborating with the Madison Police Department (MPD) and the Journey Mental Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, to improve public safety and public health outcomes for individuals with behavioral health needs. The approach uses on-site data to help agencies achieve more efficient and effective use of multiple systems’ resources. Lessons learned will inform the development of guidance and tools for policymakers and practitioners across the nation.
The goal of this project is to improve the operations of law enforcement and behavioral health agencies to increase the diversion of people who have mental disorders from the criminal justice system, when appropriate, and to reduce their likelihood of recidivating. The project will identify and implement new policies and programs for responding to people who have mental disorders, and evaluate their effectiveness at diverting these individuals and reducing recidivism. By enhancing data collection and analysis, improving information sharing, and supporting collaborative case management the project will provide law enforcement and behavioral health agencies the information needed to develop effective responses to people with behavioral health problems.