Franklin County, Ohio – A County Justice and Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Project
In 2014, the Franklin County (Columbus), Ohio, Criminal Justice Planning Board was selected to serve as a County Justice and Behavioral Health Systems Demonstration Site. Demonstration sites receive in-depth technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center to pursue goals such as increasing public safety, reducing jail costs, and helping connect individuals with mental and substance use disorders to effective community-based health services. Franklin County was selected because of the strength of cooperation between its various criminal-justice-related agencies. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; the Franklin County Board of Commissioners; the Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Board of Franklin County; the Franklin County Office of Homeland Security and Justice Programs; the Columbus City Attorney’s Office; the Franklin County Prosecutor and Public Defender offices; and leadership from the Franklin County Municipal and Common Pleas Courts and Probation departments all worked together on the project. An extensive data analysis coupled with over 50 in-person interviews with local and state leaders led to the identification of key recommendations for reducing the number of people with behavioral health disorders cycling in and out of jail.
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