Johnson County, Iowa, has been working on jail diversion since 2005 and has seen dramatic reductions in its jail population due to the foundation leaders created through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) and other efforts. Johnson County’s CJCC engages county and city leadership from law enforcement, behavioral health and the courts, as well as state leadership to help drive changes. One way leaders have continued the momentum and changed the community dialogue around these issues is by using data to help tell the story of the individuals they are trying to help and the potential impact of making changes to policies and programs.
In collaboration with the Stepping Up initiative, the Data-Driven Justice initiative and the One Mind Campaign, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) convened a Best Practices Implementation Academy to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders in the Criminal Justice System (the Academy) in June 2017 in Washington, D.C. SAMHSA contracted with Policy Research Associates (PRA), which operates SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, to facilitate the Academy. This case study is part of a series highlighting the six counties that constituted the “Best Practices” teams representing the Data Driven Justice initiative and the Stepping Up initiative at the Academy. This case study is part of a series highlighting the six counties that constituted the “Best Practices” teams representing the Data-Driven Justice initiative and the Stepping Up initiative at the Academy.