300th County Joins Stepping Up
In a little more than a year, 300 counties—representing 41 states and about 35 percent of the U.S. population—have joined Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails.
On Friday, Sept. 23rd, the 300th county joined Stepping Up since the initiative’s launch in May 2015 as a partnership of The Council of State Governments Justice Center, The National Association of Counties and The American Psychiatric Association Foundation. The number of Stepping Up counties is now equivalent to 10 percent of all U.S. counties.
Each year, an estimated 2 million adults with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression are admitted to jails, many of whom also have drug and alcohol use problems. Once incarcerated, people with mental illnesses tend to stay longer in jail and are at a higher risk of rearrest than people without these illnesses.
Stepping Up asks counties to develop an action plan that makes more efficient use of budgets, promotes access to treatment and support services, encourages research-based practices and supports the use of jails to advance public safety. County leaders also receive technical assistance and other tools to start moving the needle on this crisis.
Be part of the next 300 counties to step up by visiting StepUpTogether.org and learning how you and your county can take action.