Recent Posts

North Dakota Explores Expanding Alternatives to Incarceration and Behavioral Health Services for People in the Criminal Justice System

North Dakota Explores Expanding Alternatives to Incarceration and Behavioral Health Services for People in the Criminal Justice System

At a recent North Dakota Justice Reinvestment Oversight Committee meeting, CSG Justice Center staff highlighted recent decreases in prison admissions that resulted from alcohol and drug offenses and probation revocations. These declines seem to be the cause of a 6.5-percent drop in the state’s total prison population in FY2018, which exceeded expectations, and have reinforced the state’s efforts to increase behavioral health services for people in the criminal justice system.

Announcements

International Association of Law Enforcement Planners 2018 Conference

International Association of Law Enforcement Planners 2018 Conference

This year’s IALEP conference will focus on bridging borders between the community and law enforcement agencies by providing law enforcement planners with a multitude of speakers scheduled to present innovative ideas on tackling issues that law enforcement face in today’s society.

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

Responding to Persons Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

Responding to Persons Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

This series of publications from the International Association of Chiefs of Police offers guidelines for law enforcement officers when responding to situations involving people reasonably believed to be in crisis.

Removing Obstacles to Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Behavioral Health Care

Removing Obstacles to Eliminating Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Behavioral Health Care

This tip sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service’s GAINS Center draws on research that has implications for people of racial and ethnic minority backgrounds who have mental illnesses or substance addictions who often face substantial barriers to accessing community-based services prior to their justice involvement.

In Focus: Implementing Mental Health Screening and Assessment

In Focus: Implementing Mental Health Screening and Assessment

This brief is designed to help counties identify the number of people booked into jails who have serious mental illnesses (SMI) and to better connect these individuals to treatment. Determining the number of people who have SMI in jails allows counties to develop or refine strategic plans that will have the greatest impact on addressing this population’s needs.

Journal for Advancing Justice

Journal for Advancing Justice

This new journal from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals is dedicated to the topic of identifying and rectifying racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in treatment courts.

Recent headlines

Potter Co. Commissioners Talk Criminal Justice Reform

The Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board has developed a DUI Treatment Court, Drug Treatment Court and a pilot Pre-Trial Diversion Program to help people stay out of jail by offering substance addiction treatment and related services.

Kids with Cognitive Problems Can Be Locked up for Years without a Trial

As with adults, when a kid is declared incompetent to stand trial, the state can detain him while trying to improve his mental functioning and knowledge of court procedures. But while California law limits the amount of time adults can be confined—often in hospitals—during this process, no such cap exists for children, who are regularly held in juvenile hall instead

Franklin County Program Helps Frequently Jailed Women Chart New Path

Pathways, launched by the county in early 2016, is designed for women dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues who were funneling into and out of jail, said Patrice Palmer, a reentry social-support specialist at the Franklin County Office of Justice Policy and Programs.

Kentucky Looks at New Reforms to Cut Jail, Prison Population

Some solutions are expected to come from 2017 Senate Bill 120, sponsored by Rep. Whitney Westerfield, R-Crofton. The legislation, now law, is expected to reduce the inmates in Kentucky jails and prisons through alternative sentencing—including reentry programs—and so-called prison industry enhancement programs.

Teaching Police to Holster Their Emotions

Crisis-intervention training teaches officers to recognize symptoms of mental illness while conditioning them to decelerate their approach to someone in distress. Common tactics involve remaining at a distance to avoid startling or riling the person, attempting to persuade instead of demanding compliance, and posing open-ended questions to nurture conversation.

Police Shooting Raises Questions about Use of Force Training

Police are being taught to use requests and explanations rather than commands to persuade subjects to comply. An officer might explain that he needs a driver to step out of the car so that he can see the driver doesn’t have a weapon, rather than ordering him to do so.

Stepping Up Initiative Connects Inmates with Mental Health Services

Cabarrus County Stepping Up coordinator Tasha McLean, who is employed by Daymark Recovery Services and contracted through the county, works directly with inmates as a connector to treatment if needed. When people are arrested and taken into custody, detention officers perform medical screenings, which she reviews. Certain questions are designed to determine if an individual has a mental health or substance abuse issue.