Improving Responses to People Who Have Co-occurring Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders in Jails

Improving Responses to People Who Have Co-occurring Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders in Jails

People with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders—also known simply as co-occurring disorders—have complex needs that require integrated responses across jails and behavioral health systems. However, staff often do not know how many people with co-occurring disorders reside in the jail or do not know how to respond when they recognize the symptoms. This brief outlines how jail administrators and staff can improve their responses to this population by implementing practices that focus on identification and provision of services: conducting standard screening and assessment for both, linking people to services through collaborative comprehensive case management, and assessing effectiveness through regular performance measurement tactics.

Deirdra Assey and Sarah Wurzburg | May 2020 | The Council of State Government Justice Center, Bureau of Justice Assistance
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