On May 30, the national Stepping Up initiative to reduce mental illness in jails hosted a Twitter chat with counties across the country to discuss strategies for creating and implementing data-driven plans to impact this important issue.
At NACo’s Western Interstate Region 2019 Conference county leaders from Spokane County, Wash., and Mariposa County, Calif., addressed a packed room of county commissioners and supervisors on the issue of mental illness in jails. An estimated two million annual jail admissions involve a person with a serious mental illness.
An estimated two million annual jail admissions involve adults with serious mental illnesses (SMIs). Counties are at the forefront of this issue and recognize the need for systems-level change to help them better link people to treatment and services while improving public safety in fiscally responsible and effective ways.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Gains Center (SAMHSA Gains Center) developed nine tip sheets to help support common members of criminal justice coordinating councils (CJCCs) as they work to create more robust behavioral health services continuums for their communities.
This month, the 400th county passed a resolution to join Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails. Stepping Up counties now represent more than 130 million people – 40 percent of the U.S.
Five counties were awarded grants of up to $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to create a collaborative county approach to reduce the prevalence of individuals with mental illnesses in jail.
In support of Stepping Up, NACo, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation are hosting a National Summit on Reducing the Prevalence of Individuals with Mental Illnesses in Jails.