Chief Justice Brutinel Discusses the Task Force’s Work and Goals

Task Force and Task Force Member Activities

Chief Justice Brutinel Discusses the Task Force’s Work and Goals In the fifth of eight interviews of the National Judicial Task Force Executive Committee members, Arizona Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, Co-chair of the Civil, Probate, and Family Justice Work Group, discusses how the Task Force’s work will lead to real change, what he hopes the Work Group will accomplish, and what challenges his state is facing.

50 Years of Caseflow Management: What have we Learned? This upcoming NCSC webinar includes a segment specifically dedicated to the Task Force’s work and recommendations related to caseflow management of cases involving behavioral health issues, and how those recommendations can lead to better outcomes and more person-centered justice.

2021 Addiction Policy Forum Pillar of Excellence Award to Chief Justice Loretta Rush Each year, the Addiction Policy Forum recognizes leaders who have improved our response to addiction and communities in need. This year Chief Justice Rush is being recognized for her work to help courts address the unique aspects of opioid-use disorder.

Miami Site Visit Schedule Finalized The scheduled December visit has been combined with the January date, January 20 and 21, 2022. Up to 25 slots will be available for this guided visit to the Miami Model, hosted by Judge Steve Leifman, which will include observation of and interaction with their jail diversion programs, competency restoration alternatives, extensive CIT initiative, AOT program, peer specialist initiative, and a chance to see the new one-stop Miami Center for Mental Health and Recovery just before it opens.  Registration will be available in November. For more details contact Rick Schwermer.

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Research and Resources

U.S. Attorney General to Join Taking the Call, a National Community Responder Conference Attorney General Merrick Garland, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Acting Assistant Attorney General Amy Solomon, Bureau of Justice Assistance Acting Director Kristen Mahoney, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will join CSG for Taking the Call, a national community responder conference. The virtual conference will explore how communities across the U.S. are working to build more comprehensive crisis systems, including launching new responses to calls for service that help reduce law enforcement contact and connect people in need to appropriate health services. Presented virtually on October 20 and October 21, 2021, the conference is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required.

Justice Briefing: 📉Using Data to Keep People Out of the Justice System How can we reduce the over-incarceration of people with behavioral health needs? The first step is identifying who they are, so they can be diverted from the justice system as often as possible and connected to critical treatment. Our two new guides—informed by key stakeholders across California—offer practical tips that help criminal justice professionals use data and screening strategies to connect these community members to the care they need.

Opportunity to Apply for Sequential Intercept Model Mapping Workshops SAMHSA’s GAINS Center is currently soliciting applications from communities interested in Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) Mapping Workshops. SIM Mapping Workshops are designed to bring together a local, cross-system, multidisciplinary group of key stakeholders from a particular jurisdiction (typically a county) to facilitate collaboration and to identify and discuss ways in which barriers between the criminal justice and behavioral systems can be reduced through the development of integrated local strategic action plans.

Opportunity to Apply for Trauma-Informed Responses Train-the-Trainer Events SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, operated by Policy Research Associates, Inc. (PRA), known nationally for its work regarding people with behavioral health needs involved in the criminal justice system, is soliciting applications from agencies and communities for our national technical assistance opportunity. Interested agencies and communities may apply for this opportunity to train a cadre of professionals in trauma-informed responses.

The Rural Justice Collaborative is Seeking Nominations for Innovation Sites In 2021, the National Center for State Courts, in partnership with Rulo Strategies, launched the Rural Justice Collaborative (RJC) to showcase the strengths of rural communities and highlight the cross-sector collaboration that is a hallmark of rural justice systems. The RJC is soliciting nominations for rural justice programs or initiatives that were developed in rural communities or adapted for rural communities that fall into the RJC’s seven areas of focus.

Understanding Veteran-Specific Resources Available to Both Veterans and Criminal Justice Agencies Veterans transitioning from the military to the civilian world may have unique underlying conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and other veteran-specific mental health concerns. If veterans with these conditions get involved with the criminal justice system, it can result in complex and challenging situations. Fortunately, there are veteran-specific resources available for use throughout the justice system continuum.

988: America’s First 3-Digit Mental Health Crisis Line | The Kennedy Forum To make 988 successful, policymakers must act now. The CEO Huddle developed these special resources to help advocates spread the word.

  • Infographic
  • Customizable PowerPoint template
  • One-pagers for state and federal policymakers
  • Key talking points
  • Sample social media posts
  • Customizable e-newsletter and website language
  • Video animation

Improving Behavioral Health Services for Individuals with SMI in Rural and Remote Communities In partnership with SMI Adviser, this report was developed by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) and the NASMHPD Research Institute (NRI) based on guidance from convening expert panel meetings, interviewing subject matter experts, and conducting a literature review. It is designed to offer strategies and key lessons for developing, implementing, financing, and sustaining behavioral health services for individuals who have SMI and live in rural and remote communities.

Scattergood Foundation Fall 2021 Newsletter Includes a link to a recent webinar, Housing is Mental Health Care: Policy Recommendations for Housing for Those with Mental Illness, and links to two associated papers: Policy Recommendations to Address Housing Shortages for People with Severe Mental Illness and Housing Is Mental Health Care: A Call for Medicaid Demonstration Waivers Covering Housing.

Transforming State Behavioral Health Systems: Findings from the Impact of CCBHC Implementation State officials from the eight CCBHC demonstration states explore how adoption of the CCBHC model has transformed their substance use and mental health care delivery systems, including building workforce capacity and community- and state-level infrastructure needed for lowered costs and improved outcomes.

Tracking Progress on Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails Showing evidence of accomplishments, such as the implementation of new procedures, policies, and evidence-based practices, contributes to the momentum and sustainability of your county’s Stepping Up initiative. This case study explains how to track your county’s efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail.

Study: Diversion Program Improves Outcomes for Offenders with Mental Illness New medical research from North Carolina’s prison system supports the use of alternative treatment for mentally ill offenders. Published last week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study evaluates therapeutic diversion units, which are treatment-oriented prison housing for offenders with a mental illness. TDUs are staffed with behavioral health, nursing and custody professionals. They provide an alternative to restrictive housing. The study found that these alternatives resulted in inmates who were three times less likely to require inpatient mental health treatment and three times less likely to threaten or commit self-injury.

Prevalence, Comorbidity, and Continuity of Psychiatric Disorders in a 15-Year Longitudinal Study of Youths Involved in the Juvenile Justice System In this cohort study of 1829 youths who were detained in a juvenile justice facility, 64% of males and 35% of females with a psychiatric disorder during detention had a disorder 15 years later. Substance use and behavioral disorders were more common among non-Hispanic White youths than Hispanic and Black youths. This study’s findings suggest that persistent psychiatric disorders may complicate the transition from adolescence to adulthood among youths who have been detained in a juvenile justice facility; the pediatric health community should advocate for early identification and treatment of disorders among this population.

Sozosei PechaKucha on Competency A PechaKucha is a lively and gripping way to convey ideas in a visually compelling fashion. During a PechaKucha, presenters use images without written words to share 20 slides, with 20 seconds of commentary per slide, for a presentation of 6 minutes and 40 seconds in total. This one tells a relevant story.

NASMHPD Update Recent news and resources from the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors.

How to Develop a Competitive Grant Application The Office of Financial Resources at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will be conducting a webinar on how to develop a competitive grant application.

Serious Mental Illness By The Numbers An infographic with the latest SMI data.

Mental Health in Transition Mental Health in Transition is a 3-part series, presented by Fountain House in partnership with Trinity Church Wall Street, that explores the intersection of public safety, housing, and public health on mental health. Upcoming webinars include Panel 2: Rethinking Housing, and Panel 3: Mental Health as Public Health.

2021 CHRO Insights Series Report: Trauma in the Workplace Employer strategies to address disruptive events and support employees who are struggling with the mental health effects of traumatic experiences are urgently needed in the current environment.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent a return to pre-pandemic activities, and incidents of workplace violence, natural disasters and other crises weigh on the mental health of individuals, One Mind at Work engaged its expert network to develop key insights for employers.

How to Integrate Well-being Throughout Your Organization It’s been well-documented that lawyers are more likely to experience substance abuse, mental health distress and unsustainable levels of stress than other professionals. Almost every lawyer has either attended a CLE course, received an email message or read an article about the challenges attorneys face when it comes to taking care of themselves. So if lawyers know the challenges to well-being, and they have been presented with ideas and strategies to improve wellness within their organizations, what stands in the way of creating systemic change?

In the News

The 9-8-8 Crisis Hotline is Coming. Will States Answer the Call? With the deadline for launching the 988 line just 9 months away, only a few states have enacted legislation to create and fund call centers and other services. Advocates are concerned that states are paying little attention and will lose the opportunity to create safer, more compassionate responses to such crises. If all the pieces are not in place, calls to 988 might simply be routed back to law enforcement. The use and amount of fees on phone users to support 988 and crisis services have emerged as a sticking point, and the telephone industry – whose members will have to enable the new national call line and whose customers may pay a monthly fee to support it – is pushing for the lowest possible charge.

Trieste's World-Famous Community Mental Health Program Under Attack Suddenly, it seemed, a program that was a living symbol of the movement for dignity of mental patients and against their routine abuse was giving power to an official who just two years ago was running a psychiatric hospital criticized in official reports for its use of physical restraints and forced treatments. Last week the Friuli Venezia-Giulia region approved new guidelines for management of the health system, eliminating one of Trieste’s four mental health centers and reducing the hours for which the others remain open to the public.

Dallas PD Expands Controversial, Though Successful, Mental Health Response Program The Rapid Integrated Group Healthcare Team (RIGHT) Care program dispatches clinicians and social workers along with police officers when responding to 911 calls regarding mental health issues. The program aims to reduce unnecessary arrests and hospitalization in the city and has shown progress three years in with a 20% drop in the number of people taken to the ER and a 60% decrease in arrests.

In New Mexico, a bold experiment aims to take police out of the equation for mental health calls In one of the most tangible shifts in public safety since last year’s killing of George Floyd spawned anti-police-brutality protests nationwide, New Mexico’s largest city has established a new category of first responder. Starting in September, 911 dispatchers had an option beyond the police, with social workers and others in related fields patrolling the city and fielding calls pertaining to mental health, substance abuse or homelessness that otherwise would have been handled by an armed officer.

Georgia Innovator Built a System of Connection to Better Serve People Like His Son Behavioral Health Link is known for its proprietary software that gives the Georgia Crisis and Access Line call takers real-time access to available crisis and detox beds throughout Georgia. The technological suite also provides phone, text, and chat intervention services, follow-up, and crisis counselors can make urgent and emergent appointments for callers. If needed, they can use GPS to dispatch mobile crisis teams.

Post-Election Cycle, IMD Exclusion Remains a Divisive Behavioral Health Issue Arguably one of the most polarizing issues concerning behavioral health for years — and perhaps decades — has been the restriction on federal funds for psychiatric institutions holding a certain number of inpatient beds. As calls have grown for repeal of the IMD exclusion, a rare consensus appears to be gradually building among a number of Republicans and Democrats in favor of doing away with the law.

Revolving door of mental illness can lead to jail — but does it have to? Carpenter is advocating for the formation of what would be the first Assisted Outpatient Treatment program in Iowa, which would work in conjunction with what she’s hoping will be the first civil mental health court. In Iowa, there are five criminal mental health courts, but no civil ones that could step in before criminal intervention becomes necessary.

Advocates focus on mental health for incarcerated on Rikers The Treatment Not Jail Act expands eligibility for treatment no matter an individual’s charges and fights to ensure there’s an emphasis on treatment and support for incarcerated with disabilities, addictions, mental illnesses, and other health- related challenges. The bill focuses on procedural justice to change the narrative in the court system that “terrifies” so many and advocates for health care professionals to do a thorough evaluation in order to determine if a person will qualify for treatment under the bill.

Putting the mentally disabled behind bars helps no one. Hurts everyone. | Opinion In 2020, Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson and Senator Joe Cryan introduced legislation establishing a “Mental Health Court Pilot Program” in New Jersey. This bill seeks to create a program that would divert certain nonviolent mentally ill and mentally disabled offenders from the criminal justice system and into the appropriate treatment. The bill is a step in the right direction for those involved in the criminal justice system with mental health conditions; however, it needs to be expanded to include more offenses than just disorderly conduct and should include all counties rather than just three. There’s no reason to have a pilot program when we can see its effectiveness in Florida and other states.

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