Stepping Up Initiative

Recognizing the critical role local and state officials play in supporting change, the National Association of Counties (NACo), the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, and the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) are leading an unprecedented national initiative to help advance counties’ efforts to reduce the number of adults with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails. To build on the foundation of innovative and evidence-based practices already being implemented across the country, and to bring these efforts to scale, NACo, the CSG Justice Center, and APF are working with partner organizations with expertise in the complex issues addressed by the initiative, including those representing sheriffs, jail administrators, judges, community corrections professionals and treatment providers, consumers, advocates, mental health and drug abuse service directors, and other stakeholders.

The initiative has three key components:

  1. A Call to Action
  2. Technical Assistance
  3. A National Summit
The initiative will align state and local efforts and include activities that state officials and other stakeholders can engage in to complement counties’ work. The summit is supported by APF, while other aspects of the initiative are supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

To learn more about the initiative, visit the Stepping Up Initiative homepage

Download Project Overview (PDF)

More Resources

Stepping Up Technical Assistance Opportunities in 2017

Stepping Up Technical Assistance Opportunities in 2017

Beginning in January 2017, the Stepping Up partners—The American Psychiatric Association Foundation, The National Association of Counties, and The Council of State Governments Justice Center—are launching a comprehensive approach to delivering technical assistance (TA) and facilitating communication among counties to move their initiatives forward.

Sonoma County Joins Effort to Shift Care of Mentally Ill Away from Jails

“We’ve got to provide really good treatment in our criminal justice system and simultaneously we’ve got to advocate for people with mental illness and make sure that health care providers are giving the care they should be,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, the incoming board chairwoman.

In ‘Cures’ Bill, Keys to Further Criminal Justice Improvements

In ‘Cures’ Bill, Keys to Further Criminal Justice Improvements

Before the confetti is swept up in celebration of the President’s signing of the 21st Century Cures Act, let’s make sure an important takeaway isn’t lost in the fanfare: this bipartisan bill also illustrates the type of improvements to the criminal justice system everyone can get behind.

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