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National Council announces criminal justice collaborative

April 18, 2018
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
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Just ahead of its annual conference, the National Council for Behavioral Health has announced a new initiative in which three community behavioral healthcare providers will collaborate with county jails to provide services for individuals leaving incarceration and re-entering their communities.

The National Council chose the following three providers who applied to participate in the Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Collaborative over the next 12 months:

  • Chestnut Health Systems in Bloomington, Ill.
  • Human Support Services in Waterloo, Ill.
  • Berks Counseling Center in Reading, Pa.

The project is being launched to reduce recidivism and improve health outcomes among incarcerated individuals with serious mental illness and/or substance use disorders by providing clinical screenings and assessments, care planning and coordination, as well as access to housing services and various interventions, including medication-assisted treatment, trauma-informed care and cognitive behavioral therapy.

The National Council and Policy Research Associates will provide participating counties with 12 months of training and technical assistance. National Council hopes to expand the program to other counties, but first will evaluate outcomes with the initial three participating areas during and after the collaborative, a National Council spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Behavioral Healthcare Executive.


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First off, Let me object to the placement of SMI into a prison setting. We need more diversionary courts and awareness of the special issues and challenges.

SMI are a source of many problems for inmates and staff as well as the dangers to them frtom jail placements. Admin Seg is a travesty when you understand that it punishes their symptoms and worsens them as well.

In the meantime. Treatment concerns should precede placement in a jail or prison for any length of time. Leaving such concerns to :the last minute" is unconsciouable.

I applaude any and all wrap around service at exit, having heard of too many cases of none, absolutely none, sometimes only a bus ticket, no meds, and no pick-up arrainged with a new service provider.

keep working, its a long way to the finish line.