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

Our View: Inmates and Mental Illness

Keeping people with mental illness out of jail not only helps them to have productive lives, but it reduces the amount we spend on their confinement, allowing these resources to be used more productively elsewhere, writes the Editorial Board of the Winston-Salem Journal.

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