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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
Site Snapshot: Update on How Three Counties Are Serving High-Needs Populations
The CSG Justice Center is highlighting three of these communities: Bernalillo County, New Mexico; Fulton County, Georgia; and Polk County, Iowa. Each of these jurisdictions is both a Stepping Up Innovator and a MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge site. This snapshot focuses on the sites’ successes and challenges in their work with priority populations, as well as some of their upcoming goals. Read more about where these counties started. Read More
Set, Measure, Achieve: Stepping Up Guidance to Reach Prevalence Reduction Targets
How can local justice systems reduce the prevalence of serious mental illness in their populations? This brief from the Stepping Up partners supports counties in setting targets for reducing the number of people with serious mental illness in their jails, measuring progress toward meeting these targets, and achieving results. With suggested minimum goals, tips, and calculation formulas, this guidance positions counties to realize system improvements from one year to the next. Read More
Site Snapshot: How Three Counties Are Serving High-Needs Populations
The CSG Justice Center is highlighting three of these communities: Bernalillo County, New Mexico; Fulton County, Georgia; and Polk County, Iowa. To understand their progress and their challenges, we will check in with these counties over the course of the next two years. Each of these jurisdictions is both a Stepping Up Innovator County and a MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge site. Read More
Dauphin County, Pennsylvania: A County Justice and Mental Health Systems Improvement Project
The CSG Justice Center conducted an in-depth, cross-systems data analysis of the flow of people who have serious mental illnesses (SMI) through the Dauphin County criminal justice system. This report includes the key findings and policy recommendations. Read More
Douglas County, Kansas: A County Justice and Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Project
In 2018, elected officials and criminal justice and behavioral health leaders in Douglas County, Kansas, asked The Council of State Governments Justice Center to conduct an in-depth, cross-systems data analysis of the flow of people with serious mental illnesses and co-occurring substance addictions through the local criminal justice system and to identify ways to achieve better health and public safety outcomes. This report presents opportunities to expand what Douglas County is already doing well and improve upon systems performance. Read More
Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask
Released by Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail, this report is intended to assist counties with developing and implementing a systems-level, data-driven plan that can lead to measurable reductions in the number of people with mental illnesses in local jails. The report serves as a blueprint for counties to assess their existing efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail by considering specific questions and progress-tracking measures. Read More
Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask: The Project Coordinator’s Handbook
This handbook is designed to complement the Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask (Six Questions) framework as a step-by-step facilitation guide for project coordinators. Read More
Six Questions Case Studies: Question 6: Do We Track Progress?
Once planning is completed and the prioritized strategies are being implemented, tracking progress and ongoing evaluation begins. Planning teams should monitor the completion of short-term, intermediate and long-term goals, as it may take years to demonstrate measurable reductions in jail populations and the prevalence of people with mental illnesses in jail. Showing evidence of more immediate accomplishments, such as the implementation of new procedures, policies and evidence-based practices, contributes to the momentum and commitment necessary to ensure this is a permanent initiative. Tracking data within the four key measures may also provide the justification necessary to secure continuation funding and/or additional implementation funding. Read More