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Strengthening connections among criminal justice agencies, behavioral health organizations, and the community to improve wellbeing for people with mental health conditions or co-occurring substance use disorders.

Co-Occurring Substance Use

A disproportionate number of people in the criminal justice system have co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Indeed, approximately 60 percent of people who are incarcerated meet the criteria for “drug dependence or abuse.” Further, people have a significantly higher risk of death due to overdose when released from jail or prison than the general public.

Despite these high levels of substance addiction, relatively few people who come into contact with the justice system receive appropriate treatment. JMHCP assistance can help jurisdictions ensure that treatment—including Medication-Assisted Treatment for alcohol and opioid addiction, counseling, and behavioral therapy—is delivered in correctional facilities, at reentry, and in the community. These efforts to increase treatment access can help prevent relapse, overdose, and further involvement in the criminal justice system.

Improving Responses to People Who Have Co-occurring Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders in Jails

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Selected Resources

Key Staff

Dustin Bartley

Project Manager, Behavioral Health

Dustin Bartley provides training and technical assistance for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. As a licensed therapist in Nebraska, Dustin spent 10 years providing direct service to adults with co-occurring disorders. Dustin has worked in residential and outpatient settings, with his county’s community corrections department, and has provided on-site treatment services for an adult drug court program. Dustin spent nearly eight years with Nebraska’s Judicial Branch in the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation working with officers and providers statewide on service development, training, and implementation. Dustin earned a BA in psychology from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an MS in mental health counseling from Emporia State University.

Ethan Kelly 

Senior Policy Analyst, Behavioral Health

Ethan Kelly provides technical assistance to grantees working with people who have co-occurring substance addictions and mental illnesses and are involved in the criminal justice system. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Ethan was a clinical supervisor and trainer for behavioral health/criminal justice programs, managing a pretrial mental health program and providing trainings on mental health, critical incident stress management, and criminogenic risk. He earned his BSW from Southern Connecticut State University and his MSW from Fordham University.

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