People with behavioral health conditions (e.g., mental health conditions, substance use disorders) are disproportionately incarcerated in correctional facilities across the U.S. While incarcerated, they often face worse outcomes than their peers, including experiencing longer lengths of stay, higher rates of solitary confinement, and a lack of access to needed mental health care.
For more than 15 years, JMHCP has supported efforts to improve these outcomes by funding diversion programs; promoting universal screening and assessment at intake; facilitating collaborative, comprehensive case plans to integrate critical behavioral health and criminogenic risk and needs information into reentry plans; and more.
Stepping Up Initiative
I’ve been working with a broad set of stakeholders across Massachusetts to bolster approaches that focus on connecting people to treatment. This means providing excellent treatment within our jail and working with our partners to identify diversion opportunities. By using data to identify those who can benefit most from diversion and co-locating behavioral health services in the jail, we can get people the help they need, improve public safety, and make our communities safer and stronger.Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Sheriff’s Office
Reducing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jail: Six Questions County Leaders Need to Ask
Behavioral Health Diversion Interventions: Moving from Individual Programs to a Systems-Wide Strategy
Project Manager, Behavioral Health
Mark oversees the delivery of broad-based technical assistance products and tools to assist counties in their Stepping Up efforts. Mark has also provided technical assistance to Second Chance Act and Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program grantees that serve people with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness, and he has coordinated additional projects designed to advance practices at the intersection of the criminal justice and behavioral health. Before joining the CSG Justice Center, Mark worked for the Partnership to End Addiction in New York City where he developed educational tools for state decisionmakers on improving addiction prevention and treatment through health policy. He also worked for Families USA in Washington, DC and for Hunger Free Vermont as part of the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. Mark earned his BA in political science and sociology from Ohio University and his MPA at Baruch College.
Deputy Program Director, Behavioral Health
Demetrius Thomas oversees training and technical assistance for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, he worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene developing and managing programs aimed at reducing criminal justice involvement among people with mental or behavioral health needs. There, he led the agency’s work in establishing New York City’s first-ever diversion centers and co-response teams. He has advocated, litigated, and legislated on a range of issues at the intersection of criminal justice and public health. Demetrius earned a BA with a dual concentration in international and U.S. politics from Columbia University and a JD from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law.
Project Manager, Behavioral Health
Kate Reed leads initiatives focused on addressing equity and supporting the expansion of alternative interventions for people with behavioral health challenges in the justice system. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Kate led the Stepping Up Initiative for the City of Philadelphia on behalf of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and used a data-driven approach to develop programs and policies aimed at reducing the number of people with serious mental illness in jail. Kate also played a key role in the development and implementation of Philadelphia’s crisis system transformation. Kate earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from The George Washington University and is a licensed professional counselor in Pennsylvania.
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