Recent Posts

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

Reentry Essentials: Addressing Mental Health Needs among People in the Criminal Justice System

A disproportionate number of people in the nation’s criminal justice system face mental health issues: a Bureau of Justice Statistics report found, for example, that people in U.S. prisons and jails are three to five times more likely to experience serious psychological distress than the general adult population. While there is an overwhelming need to provide effective treatment, challenges exist in quantifying the extent of that need and taking a strategic approach across systems—from law enforcement to community-based reentry services.

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

Stepping Up Initiative Expands Push for Counties to Collect Data on Number of People in Jails Who Have Mental Illnesses

The Stepping Up initiative recently launched a national effort to help counties collect accurate, accessible data on the number of people entering their jails who have mental illnesses. As part of the effort, seven rural and urban “Innovator Counties” have been selected as models for their expertise in accurately identifying these individuals and consistently collecting data on them.

Baltimore County to Further Improve Crisis Response System Based on Independent Assessment

Baltimore County to Further Improve Crisis Response System Based on Independent Assessment

The Baltimore County, Maryland, county executive recently released a report that provides recommendations for the county to better position its police-mental health collaboration (PMHC), the Baltimore County Crisis Response System, to provide an effective and comprehensive response that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and maximizes both public safety and health outcomes.

Announcements

Register for Webinar: Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses Booked into Jails

Register for Webinar: Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses Booked into Jails

Join the Stepping Up partners for the first webinar in the four key measures series, where a national expert and representatives from Pima County, AZ, will provide an overview of each of the key measures, describe strategies for reducing the number of jail bookings for people who have mental illnesses, and outline data points to collect, analyze, and track over time.

Apply Now: Drug Treatment Courts Program

Apply Now: Drug Treatment Courts Program

The program provides funding for agencies to enhance pre-existing drug courts or implement new drug courts for youth in the juvenile justice system who have substance addictions or co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses, including histories of trauma.

Webinars

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Addressing the Needs of Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar provides an overview of national estimates of incarcerated veterans; explains components of the Veterans Health Administration’s veterans justice programs; expands awareness of the needs of veterans in the justice system; and discusses new developments in the Veterans Administration and community interventions to provide services to veterans in the justice system.

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

Best Practices in Screening and Assessment for People with Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

This webinar features Roger Peters, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The webinar discusses the prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders among people involved in the criminal justice system, as well as effective screening and assessment instruments to use with this population.

How Correctional Agencies Can Develop and Implement Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plans

How Correctional Agencies Can Develop and Implement Collaborative Comprehensive Case Plans

The webinar provides a conceptual overview of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office reentry program in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and discusses the program’s processes in three key areas: 1) interagency collaboration and information sharing; 2) staff training; and 3) screening and assessment as part of their collaborative comprehensive case plan process.

Publications

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

Returns on Investments in Recidivism-Reducing Programs

This policy brief from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors discusses the economic costs of crime and the effectiveness of programs to reduce recidivism, focusing on programs delivered inside correctional facilities addressing three main areas: mental health, substance abuse, and education.

Baltimore County, Maryland: A Police-Mental Health Collaboration Assessment

Baltimore County, Maryland: A Police-Mental Health Collaboration Assessment

In September 2016, Baltimore County, Maryland’s county executive asked the CSG Justice Center to conduct an independent assessment of its law enforcement and behavioral health collaboration, the Baltimore County Crisis Response System, which helps the county respond to people who have behavioral health needs. This report describes the assessment’s methodology, highlights key findings, and discusses those recommendations and strategies.

Recent headlines

Counties Across the Country Participate in National Stepping Up Day of Action

During this Day of Action, county officials are hosting events or participating in local activities to share with constituents the progress made in addressing the prevalence of people who have mental illnesses in jails; raise public awareness and understanding of this important issue; and emphasize their commitment to creating data-driven, systems-level changes to policy and practice to achieve Stepping Up goals.

Alabama Family Says Juvenile Program ‘Saved Son’s Life’

In the span of a few months, Meleke Burton has gone from being housed in a youth detention facility to planning for the fall semester at Auburn University at Montgomery. And he has already decided to pursue nursing, following in his mother’s footsteps.

U.S. Senators Express Support for Vital Justice Programs

U.S. Senators Express Support for Vital Justice Programs

Senators in April took strong bipartisan action in support of three programs for FY2019—the Second Chance Act, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI)—aimed at increasing public safety and reducing recidivism at the state and local level.

We Really Do Have a Solution to the Opioid Epidemic — and One State Is Showing It Works

America hasn’t fully embraced the solutions that we know can work. According to a 2016 report by the surgeon general, only 10 percent of people in the US with a drug use disorder get specialty treatment, which the report attributed to a lack of access to care. Even when treatment is available, other federal data suggests that fewer than half of treatment facilities offer opioid addiction medications.

Butte County Is a State Leader on Breaking Imprisonment Cycle

Since the inception of the voluntary program three years ago, 83 have graduated and two have since returned to prison.
That is an incredible statistic compared with the most recent state data, which shows a recidivism rate at 46 percent.

Police Undergo Training for Mental Health Crises

Benton County Mental Health workers lead officers through case studies to help them understand what happens after police take people who are a danger to themselves or others to the hospital. Those case studies help officers understand what information hospital staff members need from officers who respond to crisis situations.

Diversion Program Would Help Keep Mentally Ill Out of Jail

Nonviolent offenders with mental illness could be diverted away from New Jersey’s mainstream criminal justice system and into a rehabilitation program designed to provide treatment for their psychiatric disorder, under an initiative envisioned by a longtime Democratic Senator that also reflects the goals of a growing national movement.

Work Requirements and Medicaid: What Will Happen to Beneficiaries with Mental Illnesses or Substance Use Disorders?

Kentucky, Indiana, and Arkansas have received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to add work or service requirements to their Medicaid programs; seven other states are seeking such waivers. We spoke with Richard G. Frank about the challenges of determining whether someone is able to work and what happens when people with mental illnesses are denied critical benefits.