By the CSG Justice Center Staff
The Council on Mentally Ill Offenders (COMIO) released its 15th annual report this month, highlighting ways to address the mental health needs of people in the justice system in California.
Chaired by the secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, COMIO presented the report to California’s state legislature with a number of recommendations, including improving data collection, facilitating interagency information sharing, and leveraging resources provided by existing criminal justice and mental health initiatives. The report cites the Stepping Up initiative—a national effort to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails—as a sign of increasing attention to this issue and as an opportunity for action, with 21 California counties participating to date.
Since its launch in May 2015, more than 300 counties nationwide have joined Stepping Up, a partnership between The Council of State Governments Justice Center, The National Association of Counties, and The American Psychiatric Association Foundation.