New Initiative Seeks To Reduce The Number Of People With Mental Illnesses In Jails

In the US News & World Report (5/15) “Policy Dose” blog, Renee Binder, MD, incoming president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Riki Hokoma, president of the National Association of Counties, write that addressing the need to keep people with mental illnesses out of jail “requires bringing together state and county policymakers, heads of behavioral health programs and leaders in the criminal justice system to create the structure to support change.” For that reason, “we partnered with the Council of State Governments Justice Center to launch ‘Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails.’”

Now, “with support from the US Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and guidance from several national groups dedicated to these issues, counties across the country are joining a call to action and taking specific, research-driven actions to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in county jails.” The American Psychiatric Foundation is one of the initiative’s collaborators.

Related Links:

— “A Crisis in Our Jails,” Riki Hokama and Renee Binder, U.S. News & World Report, May 14, 2015.

Posted in In The News.