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Counties in the News

Stepping Up Innovator Counties: Leading the Way in Justice System Responses to People with Behavioral Health Needs
Among the more than 540 counties that have joined the Stepping Up initiative, Innovator counties lead the nation in successfully collecting and applying data to inform decision-making. This brief covers how Innovators are bringing about meaningful change in the movement to reduce the number of people with behavioral health needs… Read More
Stepping Up and Connections to Care: Making the Case with Data
Counties across the country have made progress addressing the Stepping Up Four Key Measures. Yet counties often struggle with Key Measure 3: post-release connections to care for people who have a serious mental illness (SMI). This measure necessarily involves a handoff from the county jail system to the community-based behavioral… Read More
New App Can Help Community Members Experiencing Mental Health Crisis
By Christopher Seeley, MSW, American Psychiatric Association Foundation Sometimes the symptoms of an individual’s mental illness can impact their ability to make decisions about getting the treatment they need. A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) is a legal document that individuals can use to make a plan before a crisis occurs to help ensure that their needs and preferences for care are known. A PAD also allows the individual to identify… Read More
The Growth of Telepsychiatry during the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Christopher Seeley, MSW, American Psychiatric Association Foundation Connecting people to care is vitally important for preventing further engagement in the justice system. That’s why it’s among the key measures that the Stepping Up initiative encourages counties to understand. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, connections to treatment for this… Read More
Stepping Up Monterey County System Mapping Project
As part of their Stepping Up initiative, leaders in Monterey County, California, engaged the CSG Justice Center to work with county stakeholders to map current policies, processes, and resources for people with behavioral health needs who enter the criminal justice system. This report presents recommendations for system improvements, including feedback… Read More
Kansas to Open Stepping Up Center to Reduce Number of People with Mental Illness in Jails
Topeka, Kan.—The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center announce the opening of the Kansas Stepping Up Technical Assistance (TA) Center to help counties reduce the prevalence of people with serious mental illness in jails. The Kansas Stepping Up TA… Read More
COVID-19 Has Triggered Jail Population Drops—With One Exception
Jails across the U.S. are seeing reductions in their populations since the pandemic struck, yet local officials say the prevalence of mental illness in their facilities remains stubbornly high. Our latest video features officials from Douglas County, KS and San Luis Obispo, CA—both recognized as Innovator Counties in the Stepping… Read More
Site Snapshot: How Three Counties Are Serving High-Needs Populations
  Across the U.S., hundreds of jurisdictions have committed to improving their systems responses to “priority populations,” people who frequently and repeatedly encounter law enforcement, jails, and emergency departments, and other social services. The CSG Justice Center is highlighting three of these communities: Bernalillo County, New Mexico; Fulton County, Georgie;… Read More
Stepping Up Announces Set, Measure, Achieve: A Nationwide Call to Action for Counties to Reduce Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System
WASHINGTON, DC, September 23, 2020—The Stepping Up initiative today announced Set, Measure, Achieve, a national call to action for counties to publicly commit to goals that demonstrate reduced prevalence of mental illness in local justice systems. Stepping Up is asking participating counties to set tangible targets,… Read More