Implementation of the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts' Response to Mental Illness Report and Recommendations
The Task Force made a number of important findings, with corresponding recommendations, supported by over 100 new resources for courts and our partner stakeholders. Going forward each Behavioral Health Alerts will revisit an original Task Force resource or a new resource that supports a Task Force recommendation.
Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) and the State Courts The CCBHC model extends to over 430 clinics across 42 states. This Court Leadership Brief explains the CCBHC model, provides advice to the national court community on how to engage the CCBHCs in court operations, and links to a more comprehensive resource, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) Success Center, a hub for data, implementation support, and advocacy to support the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic initiative.
Research and Resources
Recommendations for the Use of Telepsychology in Psychology-Law Practice and Research: A Statement by American Psychology-Law Society In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent impact on psychological work, Division 41 of the American Psychological Association convened a taskforce to provide guidance to its membership regarding the use of technology for practice and research at the intersection of psychology and law. Drawing from existing research in psychology-law and beyond, as well as the first-hand experience of taskforce members, this document outlines foundational guidance to apply technology to forensic and correctional work while acknowledging these settings provide unique challenges to ethical practice. The recommendations provide support for psychologists involved in assessment, treatment, training, and research.
Building New Horizons: Opening Career Pathways for Peers with Criminal Justice. Backgrounds This guide is intended for employers that provide behavioral health services, including peer support programs, to hire peers/persons with lived experience of SMI/SUD and criminal justice involvement. The information contained in the guide is designed for organizations—executive leaders, human resources, clinical staff, peer support staff, and legal teams—to develop recovery-friendly hiring policies and practices to recruit, hire, integrate, and retain peer support workers with a criminal background.
Important New Changes to Improve Access to Behavioral Health in Medicare The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is pleased to announce new proposed policies that, if finalized, will create some of the most significant changes to promote access to behavioral health in the history of the Medicare program. These new policies are proposed as part of the Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System rules. Topics include Expanding the Behavioral Health Workforce, Covering Gaps in Access to Behavioral Health, and Covering Gaps in Access to Behavioral Health.
Salus Populi: Educating the Judiciary about the Social Determinants of Health Research has shown that laws can significantly impact population health and health equity. Most of this research has focused on the impact of statutes and regulations, but in the U.S. legal system, with its well-entrenched tradition of judicial review, judges wield enormous authority over critical health determinants, including housing stability, socio-economic position (as impacted by education and income), access to health care, structural racism and the quality of the environment. This project seeks to provide guidance and training to judges on the impact of the law on the social determinants of health.
CSG Justice Briefing Last chance to join a Community of Practice for staff wellness; Stepping Up in Ohio; debriefing the Second Chance Act; and new Medicaid opportunities.
TAC Research Weekly: Provider Barriers to Measurement-Based Care MBC is the practice of using clinical measurement instruments to measure symptoms, treatment progress, and patient outcomes over time. Research has shown that MBC is effective at improving patient outcomes, especially for patients whose symptoms took longer to improve, as well as for identifying when a patient begins to deteriorate. Research has also indicated that it helps improve relationships between patients and providers and creates more collaborative care within treatment teams. Nonetheless, less than half of providers use MBC with their patients often, despite robust evidence that it improves patient outcomes.
In the News
‘It is working’: Success of Southern California homeless court touted Some judges might frown on a disruption in their courtroom, but this isn't like most courts. For one, it's held outside, in a parking lot, across from the Redondo Beach Police Department. “It’s a less threatening environment,” Webb said. “It brings the justice system to the community.” It also changed how the city offers services to the unhoused. Under the old model, a judge would tell a defendant they needed to meet with a housing navigator and give an update at their next hearing the following month. Then, for example, the person would return, say they couldn’t reach the housing navigator and afterward lost their phone, Webb said. Now, a housing navigator is present, as are other services like mental health care, addiction care and the public defender handling the case.
One year of 988: Indiana reports high in-state response rate, but progress ongoing Indiana reported one of the highest in-state response rates for calls to 988, meaning that Hoosiers in crisis were more likely to connect with a local counselor than their peers in other states. To kick-start the development of the state’s crisis system, Indiana is using $133.6M in federal funds along with $100 million provided by state lawmakers earlier this year in the current two-year budget to support the continued development of the statewide crisis system. Other states have used 988 phone bill fees, similar to how states fund their 911 emergency services that stable funding needed to be secured in order to guarantee the service’s longevity. A $1 surcharge on Hoosier phone bills would bring in roughly $90 million each year, covering more than two-thirds of the estimated $131 million annual cost.
Disability group accuses Marion County of thwarting federal court order over mental health patients Last September, a U.S. District Court judge ordered that patients accused of misdemeanors be treated for up to three months, that those facing nonviolent felony accusations stay in the hospital up to nine months and that those accused of more serious felonies have up to 12 months of treatment. In its filing Thursday, Disability Rights Oregon included Marion County Circuit Court orders to keep three patients at the hospital longer. In one case, Judge Audrey Broyles said the person should be held for six months beyond their scheduled U.S. District Court-ordered discharge date. She said the person, accused of attempted kidnap, assault and aggravated harassment, posed a threat to Marion County. “By clear and convincing evidence, there is a danger of physical injury or sexual victimization to the victim or a member of the public if the defendant is discharged from OSH,” Broyles wrote.
Project aims to divert incarceration with mental health, substance abuse treatment The research confirmed what anyone working in behavioral health, law enforcement, the courts, or jails and prisons sees: A small percentage of people with mental illness and substance use disorder return to jail so often – as many as 72 times in three years – they make up a third of incarcerations. But it was a conversation with a court clerk that convinced Dianne Martin, who works for the state’s judicial branch, that the branch’s new effort to keep that population out of jail can succeed. “It’s not just that people are interested in this,” Martin said. “There are actually resources. The timing is now. We have to put our energy into this now.”
Our view | Cowlitz County mental health tax should be retained One tenth of 1%. A penny out of a 10 dollar bill. That’s what Cowlitz County currently adds to sales tax to support mental health. But that tax is due to sunset at the end of next year. The county commissioners are currently weighing the future of this tax, and we believe it should be retained. Currently, the mental health tax brings in about $2.5 million a year, and under state law, that money can only be used for drug addiction treatment, mental health programs, or therapeutic courts, such as drug court. While all uses of public money deserve fair scrutiny, these are not programs we can afford to cut.
Mayors say cities need to address housing, mental health issues to deal with crime The mayors touched on topics including housing crises, mental health and gun reform when answering questions. Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal (D) said that crime cannot be solved without first address the “housing crisis” plaguing cities throughout the U.S.
ABA calls for mental health study of judiciary amid rising threats The American Bar Association on Tuesday urged U.S. judicial leaders to study the effects of violent or traumatic incidents on judges, their staff and their families and to recommend steps to improve their safety amid a rise in threats. The resolution also urges court leaders nationally to develop training and other processes to provide judges, their staff and their families with professional, confidential treatment in conjunction with court security teams.
Competence, Wellbeing, and Your Attorney Toolbox This column looks at the intersection of competence and well-being. Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct requires “competent representation,” meaning “the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.” According to the ABA Task Force Report, “well-being” is a continuous process where lawyers, judges, law students and legal professionals seek to thrive in all aspects of life. Well-being can be looked at in discrete segments--emotional and mental health, physical health, social connections, occupational satisfaction, intellectual pursuits, aligning with a sense of purpose in life, environmental health and financial health. (Westlaw link)