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Stepping Up Pennsylvania: Findings and Recommendations from the Behavioral Health-Criminal Justice State Policy Scan Project

Across the country, communities struggle to address the high number of people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) cycling through their local criminal justice systems. The CSG Justice Center partnered with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s (PCCD) Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee to conduct a statewide policy scan. The purpose of the scan was to identify opportunities for the state to help counties continue to reduce the number of people with SMI in local criminal justice systems—especially county jails. CSG Justice Center staff made recommendations rooted in research and best practices with proposed action items. These recommendations focus on three priority areas: (1) improving local capacity to collect data and share information, (2) increasing local diversion as early as possible, and (3) increasing local availability of and connections to housing. (Photo credit: Schindlerdigital, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons) Read More

Keynote: Leveraging State and Federal Financing

The California Summit -- Jan. 19, 2017 -- Speakers discuss state and federal funding opportunities and resources for reducing the prevalence of people with mental illnesses in jails and providing needed mental health services in the community. Read More

Developing Sustainability, Success Stories from the Field

In this webinar, Sheriff Christopher Donelan of Franklin County, MA—a Second Chance Act grantee—provides insight on how engaging the business community led to the county program’s sustainability. Additionally, Suzanne Watson, community services director for Pottawattamie County, IA—a Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grantee—discusses how her county’s mental health court is sustained with help from county investments. Staff from The Council of State Governments Justice Center also discuss their forthcoming publication, Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask. Read More

Plenary: Strategies for Financing Your Plan

Having systems-level impact on the number of people with mental illnesses in jail is in no small part contingent upon “new” dollars. Speakers highlight opportunities to leverage state and federal funds for behavioral health care services, ways in which state justice agencies can support this work, and the role of philanthropy. Read More

Keynote: Federal Investment and Support, Action Steps, and Closing Remarks

In this closing session, speakers discuss the MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge, as well as federal support and funding opportunities for reducing the prevalence of people with mental illnesses in jails. Closing remarks also cover what action steps participants can prioritize to bring what they learned at the summit home to their communities. Read More