In January 2017, Stepping Up released Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask (Six Questions), a report intended to help county leaders determine to what extent their county’s efforts will have a system-level impact that not only results in fewer people with mental illnesses in jail but also does so in a way that increases public safety, applies resources most effectively and puts more people on a path to recovery. This guide is designed to complement the Six Questions report by providing context around the importance of each of the six questions and suggesting questions for county elected officials to ask of key stakeholders in their county.
To assess their community’s efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail, county leaders should ask the following questions:
- Question 1: Is Our Leadership Committed?
- Question 2: Do We Conduct Timely Screening and Assessments?
- Question 3: Do We Have Baseline Data?
- Question 4: Have We Conducted a Comprehensive Process Analysis and Inventory of Services?
- Question 5: Have We Prioritized Policy, Practice and Funding Improvements?
- Question 6: Do We Track Progress?
Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails and is the result of a partnership between the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and The Council of State Governments Justice Center. Find out more at StepUpTogether.org.Standard