Report of the Consensus Project

Read the Report

The landmark Consensus Project Report, which was written by Justice Center staff and representatives of leading criminal justice and mental health organizations, was released in June 2002. Since then, Justice Center staff working on the Consensus Project have supported the implementation of practical, flexible criminal justice/mental health strategies through on-site technical assistance; the dissemination of information about programs, research, and policy developments in the field; continued development of policy recommendations; and educational presentations.

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project 

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, coordinated by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, was an unprecedented, bipartisan national effort to help local, state, and federal policymakers and criminal justice and mental health professionals improve the response to people with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system. 

The Criminal Justice / Mental Health Consensus Project was a unique effort to define the measures that state legislators, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, corrections administrators, community corrections officials, victim advocates, mental health advocates, consumers, state mental health directors, and community-based providers agreed will improve the response to people with mental illness who are in contact (or at high risk of involvement) with thecriminal justice system.

The Consensus Project Report

The Consensus Project Report, published in 2002, provides 47 policy statements that can serve as a guide or prompt an initiative to improve the criminal justice system's response to people with mental illness. The Consensus Project Report addresses the entire criminal justice continuum, identifying numerous means to improve the system’s response to individuals with mental illness.