Tonnya Kohn Discusses the Task Force’s Work and Goals

Task Force and Task Force Member Activities

Tonnya Kohn Discusses the Task Force’s Work and Goals In the sixth of eight interviews of the National Judicial Task Force Executive Committee members, South Carolina State Court Administrator Tonnya Kohn, Co-chair of the Civil, Probate, and Family Justice Work Group, discusses how the Task Force’s work will lead to real change, what she hopes the Work Group will accomplish, and what challenges South Carolina is facing.

50 years of Caseflow Management: What have We learned? NCSC will be hosting a second webinar in a series that examines caseflow and workflow management. Our experts will discuss core concepts that unify and connect 50 years of work across various NCSC initiatives, including the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness.

State Court Leadership Brief: Statewide Behavioral Health Leadership Positions Are Recommended Chief Justices and State Court Administrators require behavioral health personnel in the Administrative Office to provide the necessary leadership to examine and improve state courts’ response to mental illness. State court leaders have taken several approaches and this Court Leadership Brief describes how states have increased their capacity to lead change in this important area.

State Court Leadership Brief: Behavioral Health Commissions and Task Forces This Court Leadership Brief describes the various models of state commissions, the leadership, composition, structure, and organization, and whether it is established by order, proclamation, or statute. It describes each state’s commission, the creating entity, the website, the year started or ended if that information is available, and any special notes of interest.

Miami-Dade Judge Says New Mental Health Treatment Facility is a 'Once in a lifetime opportunity' Two years ago, WLRN partnered with the podcast 70 Million to tell the story of how Miami-Dade Judge Steve Leifman has made Miami-Dade County a national leader in criminal justice reform. Through the advent of the Miami-Dade Criminal Mental Health Project in 2000, Leifman has specifically worked to reform the way people with mental health disorders are treated inside the criminal justice system. Once the Miami Center for Mental Health and Recovery facility is done, the facility will include 208 beds with the opportunity to voluntarily stay for up to a year. It will include a culinary jobs training program; full primary healthcare and dental care; psychiatric services; a full indoor basketball gym, and a library.

View the Lineup for the APF National Leadership Conference Addiction Policy Forum is excited to host the 2021 National Leadership Conference and hear from these outstanding individuals who have dedicated their careers to helping those struggling with substance use disorder. Join us November 4-5 and hear from leaders in the field like Chief Justice Loretta Rush, Indiana Supreme Court and General Barry McCaffrey, and top scientists and researchers like Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA; Dr. Nabila El-Bassel, Columbia University; Dr. George Koob, NIAAA and more.

Research and Resources

Measuring disparities in police use of force and injury among persons with serious mental illness Researchers gathered novel police use of force and suspect injury data from 2011 to 2017 from a nonrandom sample of nine police departments in the United States. The study found that persons with serious mental are at a significantly elevated risk of experiencing police use of force and injury in police encounters than the general public. The disparities we estimate are several times higher than racial/ethnic disparities in force and injury. Efforts to reform police practices and reimagine public safety in the United States should address significant disparities in police use of force against those with serious mental illness.

Psychiatric Disorders in Incarcerated Populations: Challenges for Correctional Facilities and the Public Health System Join the Committee on Law and Justice for a seminar that will explore and discuss psychiatric disorders in incarcerated populations and challenges for correctional facilities and the public health system. The seminar will highlight: (1) services needs and service utilization during incarceration – in jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers; and (2) linkage to community services.

Resources for Law Enforcement The linked behavioral health crisis, deflection, and collaboration publications and tools were created by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, with funding support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program.

Service Use by Medicaid Recipients with Serious Mental Illness During an RCT of the Bridge Peer Health Navigator Intervention The Bridge is a peer-led, health navigator intervention designed to improve access to and use of health care and self-management of medical services by individuals with serious mental illnesses. The study found that the program was effective in decreasing emergency room use among individuals with serious mental illnesses.

2021 North Dakota Stigma Survey: Findings on Attitudes, Levels of Stigma and Support of Key Policies The study found that stigma across the state has improved over the last three years, with 74% of North Dakota residents reporting that addiction is a health condition. Data collected from a previous 2018 survey on attitudes and beliefs around addiction among North Dakota residents showed that 63% of respondents agreed that addiction is a disease and needs to be treated as a health condition. “It suggests that efforts aimed at increasing knowledge and reducing stigma in North Dakota may be paying off.”

Shatterproof and The Hartford Release Largest and Most Expansive Addiction Stigma Survey Ever Fielded More than three-quarters of the American public believe that a substance use disorder (SUD) is not a chronic medical illness and over half of respondents hold the belief that SUDs are caused by bad character or lack of moral strength, according to the national research.

NIMH Stigma and Discrimination Research Toolkit The Stigma and Discrimination Research toolkit is a collection of evidence and resources related to stigma and discrimination research. Health-related stigma and discrimination research has produced theories, models, frameworks, measures, methods, and interventions that can be applied across conditions and populations to help reduce the impact of stigma and discrimination.

Cost analysis of long-term outcomes of an urban mental health court Multiple studies have demonstrated decreased recidivism and increased treatment engagement for individuals with serious mental illness involved in Mental Health Courts (MHC). However, the limited availability of social and fiscal resources requires an analysis of the relationship between a program's effectiveness and its costs. Transactional costs analysis (TCA) was used to calculate outcomes associated with treatment, arrest, and confinement in the 12-month post-MHC for 105 participants. The total combined cost savings in the 12-month post-MHC period was $1,411,020.

Report of the National Survey to Assess First Responder Deflection Programs in Response to the Opioid Crisis Deflection is a strategy designed to save lives and keep individuals out of the justice system by providing pathways to treatment for those with substance use disorder (SUD) and other conditions. Its use has grown dramatically since fentanyl and other synthetic opioids became more accessible (see chart). The Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) at TASC and NORC partnered on a survey and report of more than 300 first responder agencies and their use of deflection.

COSSAP Launches First Responder Deflection Resource Library The resource library contains a range of materials that provide examples of foundational documents that have been submitted by existing first responder deflection (FRD) programs from across the United States. These resources include documents that may constitute some core elements of FRD programs, organized by category - Deflection Program Documents, Policies and Procedures, etc.

A Week of Action to Reimagine Our National Response to People in Crisis For far too long, people experiencing mental health and suicidal crises haven’t received an appropriate mental health response when calling for help. It doesn’t have to be this way. The Kennedy Forum is pleased to be a partner on REIMAGINE: A Week of Action to Reimagine Our National Response to People in Crisis, a week of activities taking place Nov. 15-19 that will explore the impact of our current response to crises and provide opportunities to advocate for change.

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, and they will be presented in this NADCP webinar.

Deflection and Pre-arrest Diversion to Prevent Opioid Overdose The National Council for Mental Wellbeing, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developed a package of resources to support the adoption and implementation of DPAD programs to better support people at risk of opioid overdose. These resources were informed by real-world experiences shared through a series of key informant interviews and an Experts’ Roundtable with diverse stakeholders implementing DPAD programs across the country.

COSSAP 2021 National Forum This virtual convening, hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) through COSSAP, will focus on tackling one of the most critical challenges of our time: putting an end to America’s opioid, stimulant, and substance misuse. Planned session topics include how jurisdictions are pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the needs of their communities; building or expanding innovative and successful partnerships; incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion; harm reduction programs; first responder diversion programs; medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs; and more.

Responding to Familiar Faces in Crisis Part 2: Engagement Challenges and Strategies Across the country, people in many jurisdictions who frequently encounter criminal justice, behavioral health, and social service systems are experiencing behavioral health crises and require different levels and intensities of services. This three-part series features three Stepping Up Innovator Counties that are also MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge sites. Representatives from these sites provide information on how to effectively serve and increase engagement with people who frequently cycle in and out of jails, emergency departments, homeless shelters, and other community-based settings. This session provides an overview of engagement challenges in service and treatment and strategies for how to work through them at both at the individual and systems levels.

SAMHSA's GAINS Center Newsletter This newsletter includes the resource Reducing Collateral Consequences through Technology: Two Case Examples, which in turn highlights two projects - Virtual Mental Health Evaluation and Crisis Response via a Smart App, and Peers and Volunteers Supporting Recovery: Mountain Top Cares Coalition Battles the Opioid Epidemic in Rural New York.

Texas Judicial Summit on Mental Health Resources Linked are the resources presented at the recent Texas Judicial Commission on Mental Health summit.

2022 Mental Health in America Report This chart book presents a collection of data that provides a baseline for answering some questions, state by state, about how many people in America need and have access to mental health services.

In the News

Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks at Taking the Call Conference Includes a transcript of her comments to open CSG’s Taking the Call conference.

HHS Secretary Becerra Announces New Overdose Prevention Strategy Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra today announced the release of the new HHS Overdose Prevention Strategy, designed to increase access to the full range of care and services for individuals who use substances that cause overdose, and their families. This new strategy focuses on the multiple substances involved in overdose and the diverse treatment approaches for substance use disorder.

“Someone to listen”: Mental health professionals, not deputies, will soon respond to behavioral crises in Denver’s jails Once hired, the team’s members will spend their time inside the jails getting to know the people incarcerated there. They will be primarily stationed in intake and the housing units for people with severe mental health needs, but will also work in other areas of the jails. They won’t be working in offices and taking appointments, but will instead spend their days in the housing units so they can develop relationships with the people who live there.

Jailed Coloradans waiting longer for competency services Two years ago, Colorado made a promise: No one should have to wait in jail — before they’re convicted of anything — for more than 28 days for mental health restoration if they’ve been deemed incompetent to stand trial. But currently 347 people have been either awaiting pretrial evaluations or mental health restoration for longer than that. Some for far longer. One person has been waiting for 325 days.

The Future of Mental Health, According to Tom Insel After thirteen years as the National Institute of Mental Health Director, Tom Insel left his government job. Some might say he turned into a renegade, when Insel acknowledged that limited progress had been made to improve the lives of those with severe mental illness. “We are in the Jim Crow moment for mental health. People, especially those with serious mental illness, aren’t even in the back of the bus. They are left out altogether,” he said. “This is not just a health-care problem. It’s a social justice problem. It’s a form of discrimination.”

Emergency boarding lawsuit to continue through federal court A class-action lawsuit regarding the rights of psychiatric patients being held involuntarily in emergency rooms will be allowed to proceed through the federal courts, according to a ruling Tuesday afternoon. The suit accuses the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services of being too slow to provide judicial hearings for patients who have been involuntarily held for mental health reasons. Keeping people in emergency rooms without a timely hearing is a violation of their constitutional rights, the lawsuit argues.

Understaffed state psychiatric facilities leave mental health patients in limbo Nationally, the shortages of beds and mental health workers have collided with an increasing pandemic-driven demand for mental health treatment. "ERs have been flooded with patients needing psychiatric care," said Dr. Robert Trestman, the chairperson of the American Psychiatric Association's Council on Healthcare Systems and Financing. "The current crisis is unprecedented in the extent, severity and sweep of its national impact."

How Co-Location at 911 Call Centers Strengthens Behavioral Health Connectivity, Whether In-Person or Virtual Amidst the Covid emergency, there have been increased demands on 911 and the crisis line. “Fewer people have been able to engage with their primary care or behavioral health providers,” says Gasper. Tracking shifts in calls, call codes, presentation, and the number of mobile crisis teams dispatched help the 911-crisis line partners rapidly identify gaps and build out supports. “These are the indicators,” he says, “that let us know how we can have a larger impact as the program grows.”

911 operators need more training to handle mental health crisis calls A survey published Tuesday by Pew Charitable Trusts of more than three dozen emergency call centers found few have staff trained to handle behavioral health crises. Most centers also did not have access to mental health professionals who can help with the calls or first responders in the field trained to handle such crises.

Missouri Mental health subcommittee hears about state's challenges, successes Gov. Mike Parson included about $30 million in his fiscal year 2021-22 budget for programs aimed at creating some solutions to the mental health crisis in Missouri. Of that revenue, $15 million is set aside to establish six new crisis stabilization centers and support five existing ones. $5.3 million is for adding 50 additional Community Health and Substance Use Disorder Liaisons to the existing 31. The liaisons are behavioral health professionals who work with clients who have frequent interactions with law enforcement and courts. Liaisons ask their clients to contact them before police if they have an issue. Their focus is to direct people with behavioral health issues toward services they need — and away from the justice system.

Santa Barbara County's co-response teams offer help, reduce arrests, lower costs In 2018, Santa Barbara County launched a pilot program to pair a behavioral wellness clinician with a trained sheriff’s deputy to respond to incidents where people were in a mental health crisis. Since then, with the benefit of grant funds, a single team has expanded into three, one of which is assigned to the North County, that have not only improved the well-being of those in crisis but also reduced the strain on county resources, according to a report to the Board of Supervisors last week.

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