Using a Collaborative Approach for Major Systems Change: New York’s Citywide Justice & Mental Health Initiative

Making a plan for addressing the needs of individuals with mental illnesses across a whole system at multiple intercept points based on the latest research requires more than an internet search and a whiteboard. This winter, New York City announced a new strategy for matching individuals with mental health needs with the “right” services based on their assessed criminogenic, mental health, and substance use needs at different stages of their criminal cases. As a demonstration site, NYC’s initiative received in-depth technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center, including an extensive analysis of criminal justice and mental health data, assistance with focus groups, and collaboration on the development of the policy strategies. Learn from the team that made it happen about how they engaged partners at all levels of leadership, determined priorities, designed a plan, and navigated the path to securing funding for NYC’s new Court-Based Intervention and Resource Teams.

Hallie Fader-Towe, Program Director, Courts, Council of State Governments Justice Center

Erik Berliner, Deputy Commissioner for Strategic Planning and Programs, New York City Department of Correction

Patricia Marsik, Assistant Commissioner for Mental Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Gerry Foley Assistant Director of Program Management and Development, New York City Mayor’s Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator