Task Force Activities
Illinois Virtual Summit - Session 1 Resources AvailableAlmost 700 participants participated in the first in a series of five learning and planning webinars earlier this week. The series is entitled Improving the Court and Community Response to Persons with Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Disorders Through Compassion and Hope, and the first session addressed The 21st Century Crisis System: Strategies for Mental Health and Law Enforcement Collaboration to Prevent Justice Involvement. Illinois Chief Justice Anne Burke opened the session, which included a presentation on model crisis response systems by Dr. Margie Balfour, Chief of Quality and Clinical Innovation, Connections Health Solutions in Arizona. Slide decks and a recording of the session are now online. Technical assistance to the Illinois Supreme Court is provided by the National Center for State Courts and funded by the State Justice Institute.
Behavioral Health Resources Website Updated The Coordinated Court and Community Responses website is a curated repository of research and resources organized by topic and by SIM intercept. As new resources are developed and identified they are added to the site, and a number of updates were incorporated in September, including a new Veterans Intercepts in the criminal justice system model, peer support resources across the SIM, and a trauma toolkit.
The Doctor is In - Behavioral Health and the Courts The Court Consulting Services Division of the National Center for State Courts will be providing its free remote and virtual consulting service “The Doctor Is In” from October 1st to 16th. Principal Court Management Consultants Patti Tobias, Michelle O’Brien, and colleagues will be available to provide you or a team with up to 60 minutes of free consulting and professional advice. Our experts can meet with you to discuss any issues concerning behavioral health and the courts that you and your court may be facing whether as a result of COVID-19 or beyond. Contact Patti at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time.
Research and Resources
NCSC Rural Justice Collaborative In the Fall of 2020, the National Center for State Courts, in partnership with Rulo Strategies, will launch a Rural Justice Collaborative (RJC). This work will engage judges and their justice, child welfare, and/or behavioral health partners. Initially, the RJC will focus on the following components of rural justice: Increasing access to behavioral health treatment; Reducing victimization; Facilitating employment and educational opportunities for justice involved individuals; Eliminating barriers of access to justice; Reducing incarceration and recidivism; Facilitating reentry; and Reducing the number of children in foster care due to substance use disorders.
Using Telehealth for Behavioral Health in the Criminal Justice System When implemented successfully, telehealth can improve access to care and overcome typical geographic and workforce barriers. Both the opioid epidemic and recent social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted public safety, behavioral health, and other community partners to explore how telehealth can be used to support their goals as Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) grantees.
Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative Newsletter Resources for promoting mental health and well-being among court staff; understanding the impact the juvenile justice system can have on youth; and technology guidance for state courts.
Q&A: How One Police Department Uses Data to Support Behavioral Health Responses With funding from a Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP) grant, the New Castle County (DE) Police Department created a Behavioral Health Unit. The new unit has increased its statewide partnerships, hired additional clinicians to work alongside officers, and boosted officer buy-in. New Castle County officials credit these successes to the data-driven practices they have established. Staff at The Council of State Governments Justice Center spoke with Captain John Treadwell to learn how they’re using data to support their efforts and about their development of a cross-system database to further monitor and evaluate the unit.
PRA September eNews Policy Research, Inc. and the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice are excited to announce the launch of a new, web-based tool, the School Responder Model Virtual Toolbox. This virtual toolbox is designed to help schools and communities access helpful resources related to implementing a school responder model. A school responder model is a framework designed to identify students with behavioral health conditions, connect them with relevant clinical services, and keep them in school and out of the juvenile justice system.
The Current Evidence On Telemedicine-Delivered Treatment for Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders This is the fifth webinar in the telehealth series for the Opioid Response Network (ORN). This presentation will describe background on current challenges with substance use disorder (SUD) treatment access and delivery and present evidence for telemedicine for SUD treatment based on a recent systematic review published by the speaker and describe gaps in the research knowledge to date.
Improving Outcomes and Reducing Cost of Care For Complex Care Populations With Behavioral Health and Social Support Needs: Toolkit for Governors Timely access to effective, community-based mental health and substance use interventions is successful but capacity needs to be scaled. Along with treatment, these interventions include safe and affordable housing, supported employment opportunities, reliable transportation, and care coordination supports. However, access to proven interventions is limited and exacerbated by historically fragmented health, behavioral health, and social service systems. This is especially true for people with serious mental illness (SMI) and/or SUD, who comprise a large subset of the complex care population.
National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Weekly Update The September 18th weekly compilation of NASMHPD news and resources.
SAMHSA's GAINS Newsletter New Research on Certified Peer Support Programs, Telehealth, and more.
COSSAP Digest The COSSAP Digest is a biweekly compilation of COSSAP-developed publications, webinars, podcasts, and other information recently posted to the COSSAP Resource Center as well as upcoming events.
Preventing Overdose and Increasing Access to Harm Reduction Services Program The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the challenges and risks for people with substance use disorders, necessitating a rapid public health response that identifies and supports best practices and novel harm reduction strategies. We are pleased to extend the opportunity for up to 15 organizations to participate in the 2020-2021 Preventing Overdose and Increasing Access to Harm Reduction Services program, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Organizations will receive up to $33,000 each to participate in a six-month project to implement innovative harm reduction strategies.
Reinventing EMS Response to Substance Abuse, Mental Health Emergencies All St. Charles County paramedics are educated in substance use disorders to reduce stigma and increase their understanding of the medical considerations. In addition, specialty team members are provided initial training including Missouri Recovery Support Specialist, crisis intervention and motivational interviewing training. Team members are also encouraged to take the Missouri Community Paramedic Certification (approximately 70 hours classroom and 50 hours of clinicals). The program has been an overwhelming success, and for the first time since 2014, overdoses in St. Charles County declined in 2019 by 19%.
Reclassifying Schizophrenia as a Brain DisorderIn a letter to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Schizophrenia And Related Disorders Alliance of America proposed that “the inclusion of schizophrenia in the National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System could be an important first step towards understanding schizophrenia better, reducing stigma in the illness, and re-invigorating our orientation towards timely and appropriate treatment as well as making incarceration and homelessness unacceptable outcomes for schizophrenia.” Join this NOLA Zoomcast Series webinar October 2.
Improving Adolescent Health: Facilitating Change in SBIRT Change Package There is an urgent need to advance youth substance use screening within primary care settings across the health care field. Whether you are well-versed in the Youth Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (YSBIRT) process, or just looking for an effective way to address substance use concerns with your patients, the National Council offers both on-demand and customized live training and technical assistance options to fit your needs.
How Community Behavioral Health Providers are Supporting Police and Reducing Recidivism Individuals living with SMI who have consistent access to high-quality treatment and adhere to their medications are less likely to encounter the criminal justice system. Community-based treatment lowers the chances of reincarceration, decreases the burden on jails and prisons to provide mental health services, and improves outcomes for these individuals by providing evidence-based treatment that can help them avoid arrest.
Law Enforcement & CCBHCs: Increasing Access to Treatment, Decreasing Recidivism In many communities across the country, jails and prisons act as the largest mental health and addiction treatment facilities in their area because there are simply not enough community-based treatment options available. Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics have begun to fill these gaps in unmet need as they are required to provide a wide array of evidence-based services and create partnerships in their communities, including with law enforcement agencies, in exchange for a payment rate that covers the costs of these expanded services.
Set, Measure, Achieve: Stepping Up Guidance to Reach Prevalence Reduction Targets How can local justice systems reduce the prevalence of serious mental illness in their populations? This brief from the Stepping Up partners supports counties in setting targets for reducing the number of people with serious mental illness in their jails, measuring progress toward meeting these targets, and achieving results. With suggested minimum goals, tips, and calculation formulas, this guidance positions counties to realize system improvements from one year to the next.
Mental Health Coalition Resource Library The Mental Health Coalition Resource Library is now live! Our Resource Library is made available by our alliance of the leading mental health organizations. We encourage you to browse this database to learn about mental health, help a loved one, learn coping skills and seek support. We all have mental health, and it is more important now than ever that we take care of ourselves.
Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Programs in Jails This webinar covers the fundamentals of overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs and the experience of implementing these programs in a correctional setting to support incarcerated individuals who use drugs to prevent overdose-related fatalities upon their release. Implementing OEND programs in jails and prisons is a crucial next step in providing substance use education and life-saving training to individuals in this otherwise inaccessible and high-risk population.
Addressing Misconceptions and Barriers to Medication-Assisted Treatment in Criminal Justice Settings Despite a recent increase in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in criminal justice settings, comprehensive MAT (offering all three MAT medications) is still underutilized in jails, prisons, and reentry programs. Often, misconceptions about MAT may deter its use in criminal justice settings. Barriers to MAT—such as lack of funding, lack of buy-in from staff, and other challenges—also hinder the implementation of MAT. This webinar will discuss documented misconceptions and barriers to MAT found in criminal justice settings and cover opportunities for reframing misconceptions and developing solutions to overcome these barriers.
Vicarious Trauma in the Courts Courts are the forum in which some of the most traumatic life experiences take place. As previously noted, courts can be a very stressful environment. In the literature, this condition is often referred to as secondary trauma or vicarious trauma and is becoming more recognized as a factor for all court staff. NCSC has recently examined existing programs and assembled best practices in this area.
TAC Research Weekly: September Roundup Researchers from the University of Washington utilized data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health to identify risk factors for suicide among individuals with mental health challenges who had criminal justice system involvement. While there was a higher frequency of suicide attempts in all populations that had been involved with the criminal justice system, those who had been recently arrested were at the highest risk for suicide compared to those on parole or probation. The results suggest that prioritizing suicide prevention and mental health services after arrest could have significant impacts on this population.
TAC Research Weekly: Social Support Among People with Mental Illness on Probation The level of social support an individual experiences while on probation can significantly affect the mental health symptoms of individuals with serious mental illness, according to new research in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. Positive effects on mental health have been found among justice-involved juveniles and adults that are surrounded by a strong social network. Many justice-involved individuals, however, have small social networks and can experience negative outcomes, including more severe mental health symptoms.
TAC Research Weekly: Beyond ‘Grading the States’ and Progressing Toward Decriminalizing Severe Mental Illness The Treatment Advocacy Center released a 2020 update to its landmark report, Grading the states: An analysis of involuntary psychiatric treatment laws. The report represents the results of Treatment Advocacy Center staff’s evaluation and grading of the involuntary treatment laws in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, updating state report cards with any changes to the state laws since the report’s original release in September 2018.
In the News
Gov. Newsom signs series of behavioral health care bills Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills that will improve access to quality mental health and substance use disorder services for all Californians, as well as measures that help homeless Californians suffering from behavioral health challenges access the help they need.
Body camera videos show Salt Lake police chasing, shooting 13-year-old autistic boy The videos show that after Barton explained to the officers that her son is afraid of police, doesn’t like officers and would likely try to run, the officers yelled and chased after the boy — even breaking through a wooden fence at one point — before 11 shots are fired by one officer.
We need a fresh look at how police respond to people with special needs It was sickening to watch — the crackling of rapid gunfire and then 13-year-old Linden Cameron collapsing to the ground. “I don’t feel good,” the young man, who has autism, moaned. “Tell my mom I love her. Read that again… “Tell my mom I love her.” Cameron’s mother, Golda Barton, had called police to try to help get her son, who was having an episode, to the hospital.
Hard lessons from Daniel Prude’s death: The Rochester tragedy didn’t need to happen Daniel Prude represents the most at-risk group of Americans to be killed in an encounter with police: a Black male living with a serious mental illness. When police are summoned to so-called Emotionally Disturbed Person (EDP) calls, the results are often deadly. Nationwide, at least a quarter and maybe as high as half of those killed by police had mental illness. But the police alone do not own this statistic. The mental health system can be ineffective and racist too when it comes to African-Americans in mental health crisis.
Advocates worry cost-cutting plans will leave psychiatric patients in limbo A newly disclosed cost-cutting plan for Rhode Island’s deficit-plagued state hospital has left advocates worried that seriously mentally-ill people will be released to more “appropriate” settings that do not actually exist.
Mental health workers protest new initiative pairing Buffalo police with social workers A group of social workers and mental health professionals gathered on the steps of City Hall Thursday to oppose the decision to put social workers on the Buffalo Police Department's Behavioral Health Team. The social workers on the team respond with police officers to 911 mental health calls. They call the program a band-aid approach. They want a mental health response team independent of police formed and dispatched to 911 mental health calls.
Crazy train: A mental health system off the rails The decades-long dismantling of New York’s inpatient psychiatric treatment facilities did not make the most debilitating forms of mental illness magically disappear. And it certainly has not saved New York any money. In fact, a new IBO report shows that health-care costs in New York City’s jails have swelled, from $197 million 10 years ago to nearly $347 million in 2020, despite the jail population falling almost 60% over the decade. The jail population may be smaller, but the share of that population with a mental health diagnosis has grown, from 29% to 48%.
A majority of the new costs were for substance abuse disorder services and mental health treatment.
Relying on hospital EDs for psychiatric care… How this approach disenfranchises individuals in crisis Today in California, about 6,000 people a day, with a behavioral health condition, are languishing in hospital EDs. When law enforcement detains and transports someone, the only option they have is EDs or jails, which is usually not the best clinical fit for most people’s crisis.
Hundreds of children are stuck in psychiatric hospitals each year despite the State’s promises to find them homes The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services promised to rescue children languishing in psychiatric hospitals for weeks and sometimes months beyond medical necessity. But the state has not delivered, and the problem has only gotten worse.
Report: Many states have barriers for psychiatric treatment A report from the Treatment Advocacy Center finds that many states have 'confusing or vague' procedures for treating people with severe mental illness.
Global Youth Justice newsletter Research and news regarding Youth/Teen/Student/Peer Court and Peer Jury Diversion Programs.
Bucks Co. Police Department will hire social worker as ‘Co-Responder' While on the job, the "co-responder" could accompany officers to a call and connect a person to mental health or addiction treatment, youth services or health care. One of the main goals is to decrease the amount of police response to situations that could be rectified by social services; another is to keep people who need help out of the criminal justice system.
Iowa City officials, community members talk police department's approach to policing those experiencing mental-health crises Of the 600 calls for service made to the Iowa City Police Department so far this year that mentioned "mental impairment," "suicide" or "abnormal behavior," the Mobile Crisis Outreach program was cited as being part of the department's response just 10 times, according to data provided to the Press-Citizen by the police department.
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