ADVICE for MHBs:
Jails & Prisons - Behavioral Health Issues
SPEAKERS: Invite the following speakers to address Mental Health services/programs, "warm hand-offs" and access to Mental Health services in preparation and upon release: Jail Warden/staff, BH Director/staff, related Contractors/staff, Probation Director/staff.
PATIENTS RIGHTS ADVOCATES: are authorized to review the mental health programs in jails. They are a good source of information and they are advocates. Invite them to participate regularly at your monthly meetings. Listing of local Patients Rights Advocates (Disability Rights California)
SITE VISITS (access varies by jurisdiction).
BOARD LIAISON - Ask one of your local board/commission members to attend the local Community Corrections Partnership (AB 109) Committee meetings and report back to your local board/commission.
GRAND JURY Annual Reports - The local grand jury is required to look into the quality and management of the county's jails and prisons. Links to reports:
San Luis Obispo
Alternatives to Jails/Prisons
Mental Health Diversion Summary (AB 1810, Penal Code §§ 1001.35-1001.36), J. Richard Couzens Judge of the Placer County Superior Court (Ret.) Memorandum
Behavioral Health Court(BHC) - San Francisco incorporates Evidence-Based Practices, Supported Employment and a Continuum of Care. In 2008, BHC received the Council on Mentally Ill Offenders (COMIO) Best Practices Award.
Stepping Up Toolkit Can Help Counties Address People with Mental Illnesses In Jails, CA State Association of Counties
Jail Closed in Miami-Dade County, Saving Taxpayers $12 Million per year: In 2000, Florida’s 11th Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County established a program that diverts people who have serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders, but who don’t pose a threat to public safety, into community-based care instead of jail. As a result of the program, the county has been able to close an entire jail, saving taxpayers $12 million per year. The recidivism rate has dropped from 75 to 20 percent. Miami Herald, 2016
Principles of Community-Based Behavioral Health Services for Criminal Justice-Involved Individuals: A Research-Based Guide, SAMHSA 2019
Criminal Justice MH: Medi-Cal, Realignment and MHSA Explained DHCS 2019
Criminal Justice and Mental Health Project Report, MHSOAC, Dec. 2017
Conducting Timely Mental Health Screening and Assessment in Jails Recorded Webinar:
From the Stepping Up Initiative, April 2017
When did prisons become acceptable mental healthcare facilities?,
Stanford Law School Three Strikes Project
Position Statement 56: Mental Health Treatment in Correctional Facilities,
Mental Health America (MHA)
Mentally Ill Persons in Corrections, National Institute of Corrections
Processing & Treatment of Mentally Ill Persons in the Criminal Justice System: A Scan of Practice and Background Analysis, (2015) Urban Institute
Impact of Disproportionate Incarceration and Violence Against Black People with Mental Health Conditions In the World's Largest Jail System, (2014) Dignity and Power Now
Recent rulings for Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) for those with Opioid Use Disorder in Jails, National Council for Behavioral Health, May 2019
All too often, California’s default mental institutions are now jails and prisons, Cal Matters 2019
L.A. County agrees to new policies to end the jail-to-skid row cycle for mentally ill people, Los Angeles Times, December 2018
Prison psychiatry chief’s report accuses state of misleading court on mental health care, Sacramento Bee October 2018
Behind Bars, Mentally Ill Inmates Are Often Punished for their Symptoms, National Public Radio July 2018
CSAC Helps Kick Off "Stepping Up for Mental Health Initiative California State Association of Counties
Big Jump Seen In Number Of Inmates Prescribed Psychiatric Drugs In California National Public Radio, May 2018
Psychotropic Drug Use Up Sharply As Jails House More People With Mental Illness, CA Healthline / KQED May 2018
Health Care Revamp at The L.A. County Jails, California Healthline, 2018 The effort, overseen by the county's health services department, aims to imrove care for a population with high rates of chronic disease, mental illness and drug addiction.
Napa County breaks ground on $17 Million Correctional Re-Entry facility - "There will be classrooms and program space available to meet the needs for mental health counseling, alcohol and drug rehabilitation, and job training and employment services, among others, that help offenders become self-sufficient productive members of society once they’re released."
Judge Threatens $1,000-A-Day California Mental Health Fines, April, 2017 US News & World Report
Spike in LA Jail inmates with mental illness leads to new policies, April, 2017 ABC News
Stanislaus County opens a new criminal detention center with mental health and rehabilitation space, March 2017: LA Times
SLO Man Dies Awaiting Mental Health Transfer, January 2017: New Times SLO
California County Settles Joint Action Lawsuit over Jail Medical and Mental Health Care, January 2017: Prison Legal News
LA Task Force Suggests ways to divert Mentally Ill from Jails, 2015: LA Times