Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships

Providing Support and Solutions to Improve Outcomes for People with Mental Health and Co-Occurring Substance Use Conditions in the Criminal Justice System

The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships offers free training, resources, and support to communities wanting to improve outcomes or enhance current responses for people in their criminal justice systems who have a mental illness or co-occurring substance use disorder. We help communities safely implement best practices to divert people away from the criminal justice system and connect them to treatment and supports while also promoting public safety.

The training and support center is administered by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

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What does the Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships do?

The goal of the center is to connect jurisdictions with the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary to improve responses to people at the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health systems. Support is designed to meet your needs and can range from reviewing training protocols to sharing information on best practices and advising on program design, among other types of support.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any state, locality, or federally recognized tribal government, as well as organizations such as non-profit behavioral health organizations, criminal justice agencies, and service providers, can request assistance from the Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships. Once you submit the request form, a staff member from the CSG Justice Center will contact you within two business days.

What types of training and support are offered?

The center offers no-cost assistance that is tailored to meet your needs through a variety of formats, including responding to questions via e-mail, virtual and in-person consultations, connections with subject matter experts, connections to other jurisdictions for peer learning, and webinars or other virtual events.

Training and support resources focus on designing and implementing collaborative strategies that enhance policies and practices intended to increase access to treatment and improve safety.

What are some examples of assistance you have provided?

Through the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), which is a Department of Justice grant program dedicated to providing resources to implement programs, BJA and the CSG Justice Center have provided specialized support to a multitude of jurisdictions, including more than 500 grantees over the past decade. Below are a few examples:

San Luis Obispo, California

The County Board of Supervisors wanted to reduce the number of people with serious mental illnesses in their jail.

The CSG Justice Center provided training and support to help the county open a behavioral health unit inside the local jail, provide Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training to deputies who work in the jail, and launch a jail-based competency program to provide intensive services to anyone deemed “incompetent to stand trial” to more quickly resolve cases.

Read more:
“JMHCP Grant Helps San Luis Obispo ‘Step Up’ to Improve Lives of People With Mental Illnesses in Jail”

Outagamie County, Wisconsin

Officials wanted to create a collaborative program that offered behavioral health support, employment, and housing for people in the criminal justice system with a diagnosed mental illness.

Through training and support from the CSG Justice Center, the county established the Outagamie County Mental Health Court program. After implementation, the program helped to drastically reduce the number of days program participants spent in jail.

Read more: “Outagamie Mental Health Court Celebrates Six Years of Cross-System Collaboration Benefitting Participants, Community”

Washtenaw, Michigan

The Justice Project Outreach Team wished to enhance their trauma-informed care offered to clients in the jail and prior to reentry.

With support from the CSG Justice Center, the Justice Project Outreach Team expanded their trauma services to include both people within the jail and those under community supervision. They also received training for clinicians and administrators to work with women and girls in private, public, and criminal justice settings.

Read more: “Washtenaw, Mich., Grantee Uses JMHCP Expansion Funds to Improve Trauma Service

How can I request free support?

To learn more about our free assistance, training, and resources, please contact the CSG Justice Center by phone (1-888-920-0782) or email ([email protected]).

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The Center for Justice and Mental Health Partnerships is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Council of State Governments Justice Center leads the national training and support center, in partnership with:

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This program was supported by Grant No. 2019-NT-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions on this webpage are those of the authors and do not nec­essarily reflect the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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