Skip to content

Successes

Counties throughout the nation are using high-impact strategies and experimenting with promising practices to reduce the prevalence of behavioral health needs in their justice systems.

Key Measure

County Success Example

  • Dauphin County, PA reduced its average daily population of people with serious mental illness in the jail from 16 percent to 13 percent in 2021.
  • Douglas County, KS reduced SMI bookings from 18% in 2014 to 6% in 2019
  • Fairfax County, VA operates the Merrifield Crisis Response Center, which provides psychiatric emergency services to people in behavioral health crisis. Since 2016, over 2,800 people with mental illness have been diverted from potential arrest.
  • Dauphin County, PA reduced its average daily population of people with serious mental illness in the jail from 16 percent to 13 percent in 2021.
  • Douglas County, KS reduced SMI bookings from 18% in 2014 to 6% in 2019
  • Fairfax County, VA operates the Merrifield Crisis Response Center, which provides psychiatric emergency services to people in behavioral health crisis. Since 2016, over 2,800 people with mental illness have been diverted from potential arrest.
  • After adding standardized screening at booking, referrals to jail-based behavioral health services have increased 33 percent at the Fairfax County, VA jail

Bernalillo County, NM

  • The Bernalillo County Crisis Stabilization Unit provides support to people who are experiencing a behavioral health crisis. The capacity of the CSU is 16 beds and the CSU allows for a 14-day length of stay. Since opening in December 2019, the CSU has served approximately 300 clients.
  • The Reentry Resource Center (RRC) provides services and supports for individuals leaving the Metropolitan Detention Center and transitioning to the community. From June 2018 through March 2022, 45,850 individuals exited through the RRC, and the average engagement rate is 85 percent, meaning that individuals accessed one or more services through the RRC.

Dauphin County, PA

  • Dauphin County has eight co-responders working with eight local police departments. In 2021, co-responders were involved in 1,998 referrals from police officers. Of those referrals, only 121 resulted in charges.

Douglas County, KS

  • The county has recently opened a Treatment and Recovery Campus that includes crisis services, temporary, and long-term housing, with a goal of greater reducing their jail bookings for people with behavioral health needs.