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Strategies for Better Serving People with Mental Illnesses Involved in the Justice System
Jails across the country are struggling with too many people with mental illnesses in their jails. In this workshop, hear from county leaders about their policies, practices and programs to keep people with mental illnesses out of jails, provide appropriate care to those who are in jails and better connect them to community-based treatment and services after release. Read More
Communicating About Your Efforts to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail
More than 420 counties have joined the national Stepping Up initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails. Although counties have made progress toward addressing this issue, many still struggle with how to effectively communicate about their work with the public and the media. During this webinar, county leaders earn from national experts and their peers about strategies for engaging the public and media around Stepping Up efforts, including key messaging points and how to engage individuals with mental illnesses and their families to gain support for these efforts. Participants also receive an update about the national Stepping Up Day of Action on May 16 and how to get involved in hosting their own local events. Read More
Fairfax County, Va.: The Diversion First Initiative to Reduce Incarceration of People with Mental Illnesses
Fairfax County, Va., launched its Diversion First initiative in 2015 to offer alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illnesses and/or developmental disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses. The initiative began with an initial 40-person stakeholder group that has expanded to more than 180 members who meet quarterly as a whole and participate in various work groups on issues such as data and evaluation, communications, Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training and more. Through every step of the initiative, the leadership and stakeholders’ groups communicate to the community about the work being done and the potential impact of these efforts to gain and maintain public support and trust. Read More
Coconino County, Ariz.: Building a Culture of Collaboration to Inform Criminal Justice Initiatives
In 2010, the Coconino County Board of Supervisors requested a recidivism study on people being released from the county jail. This request kicked off the county’s efforts to better collect, share, analyze and use data among county stakeholders and move to a culture of collaboration between partners to generate the best outcomes for individuals involved with the criminal justice system. Read More
Middlesex County, Mass.: Building Regional Partnerships to Address Emerging Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Trends
Middlesex County, Mass., is a large and diverse county encompassing 54 different cities and towns of various sizes. Throughout these jurisdictions, leaders were seeing similar trends in opioid-related crimes and fatalities and increasing law enforcement contact with people with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office was seeing the impact on its jail population. In 2016, the county adopted a regional approach to combat these issues by establishing partnerships between the sheriff and chiefs of police from police departments within the county. As of June 2017, 21 of the 54 police departments within the county had joined the Data-Driven Justice initiative and assigned a staff person to work collaboratively to address these issues. Read More
Live Video Panel Discussion: Two Years of “Stepping Up” to Reduce Mental Illness in Jails
The National Association of Counties and its partners at the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation hosted a live video panel discussion commemorating two years of Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails. Panelists discuss the progress their counties have made as part of the initiative and the continuing challenges and barriers they face to eliminating the use of jails as a response to people experiencing mental health crises. Read More
Introduction to the “Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask”
This webinar provided an overview of the "Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask" document that counties can use as a framework for their Stepping Up planning and implementation efforts Read More
Developing an Infrastructure of Support in California
Stepping Up: The California Summit -- Jan. 19, 2017 -- State leaders discuss ways to establish a foundation across California on which to build and harness the extraordinary momentum of the summit. Read More