Dauphin County (Harrisburg, PA)

As part of the national Stepping Up initiative, on December 15, 2016, leaders in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, launched a data-driven project intended to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring substance use disorders in the county prison.

Dauphin County—home to the state’s capitol city of Harrisburg—received intensive technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center that guided the county in answering four key questions: How many people with mental illnesses are in the county prison? What is their average length of stay? Are they being connected with behavioral health treatment upon release? What is their rate of recidivism?

The CSG Justice Center used their findings to develop policy and programming recommendations that were presented to the Dauphin County Criminal Justice Advisory Board and County Commissioners in 2017.


More Resources

Dauphin County, PA, Rolls out Plan to Reform Criminal Justice System for Mentally Ill

Closures of state hospitals and limited funding for treatment services has put stress on jail systems across the country, and Dauphin County is no exception. In 2016, 44 percent of the county’s mentally ill inmates returned to prison within a year of their initial booking.
Officials say now, it’s time to make a change.

Dauphin County, Pennsylvania: A County Justice and Mental Health Systems Improvement Project

Dauphin County, Pennsylvania: A County Justice and Mental Health Systems Improvement Project

Based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis, and with the guidance of members of the county’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board and other senior county and state leaders, five key findings were identified that prompted the development of a set of strategic policy recommendations to improve outcomes for people in Dauphin County’s criminal justice system who have SMI. This report includes the key findings and policy recommendations.