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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.

Supporting Improved Responses to People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Through a partnership with The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability and The Council of State Governments Justice Center, four Justice and Mental Health Collaboration grant programs received technical assistance and support to improve their responses to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Based on this assistance, four overarching themes emerged that can be used to guide other programs in their efforts to enhance responses to this population. This brief highlights those themes and gives an overview of each grantee’s program, including the work they have done with the help of this technical assistance. Photo credit: Photo by SHVETS production via Pexels

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Profile image of Allison Upton

Allison Upton

Deputy Program Director, Behavioral Health

Allison Upton provides technical assistance to grantees and supports policy development and projects specializing in the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health issues. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, Allison worked at the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) as the director of court programs, where she oversaw the court and community operations of several alternative-to-incarceration (ATI) and detention programs serving adults with behavioral health needs in New York County. While at CASES, she developed a gender-specific track of ATI services for women involved in the justice system and provided training on evidence-based practices in screening/assessment in justice settings, gender-responsive recidivism risk assessment, trauma-informed case management practices, and cognitive behavioral group interventions aimed at minimizing risk of recidivism. Allison previously worked as a staff psychologist in inpatient services at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center and as the director of an outpatient program at the Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center. She received her BA from the University of Miami and her MS and PsyD in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University.

Profile image of Leigh Ann Davis

Leigh Ann Davis

Leigh Ann Davis is senior director of Criminal Justice Initiatives at The Arc of the United States and directs The Arc’s National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD). With 26 years of experience working at the intersection of intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) and criminal justice, her mission is to build stronger lines of open communication and understanding between these two worlds. She worked with The Arc to secure funding to create NCCJD®, the first national center in the U.S. to focus on addressing both victim and defendant issues involving people with IDD and oversaw the development of NCCJD’s training program: Pathways to Justice®. Ms. Davis holds a Master of Science in Social Work and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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