Mobile crisis outreach teams and co-responders. Behavioral health practitioners who can respond to people experiencing a behavioral health crisis or co-respond to a police encounter.
Emergency Department diversion. Emergency Department diversion can consist of a triage service, embedded mobile crisis, or a peer specialist who provides support to people in crisis.
Police-friendly crisis services. Police officers can bring people in crisis to locations other than jail or the Emergency Department, such as stabilization units, walk-in services, or respite. However, these crisis services must have police-friendly policies so that officers can return to their duties.
Dispatcher training. Dispatchers can identify behavioral health crisis situations and pass that information along so that Crisis Intervention Team officers can respond to the call.
Specialized police responses. Police officers can learn how to interact with individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis and build partnerships between law enforcement and the community.
Intervening with super-utilizers and providing follow-up after the crisis. Police officers, crisis services, and hospitals can reduce super-utilizers of 911 and Emergency Department services through specialized responses. In addition, officers and behavioral health practitioners can promote treatment engagement by following up with individuals once a crisis has been resolved.
Screening for mental and substance use disorders. Brief screens can be administered universally by non-clinical staff at jail booking, police holding cells, court lock ups, and prior to the first court appearance. Screens should be validated instruments rather than locally developed forms.
Data matching initiatives between the jail and community-based behavioral health providers. Data sharing between the jail and behavioral health care providers allows for providers to identify consumers who are incarcerated and for the jail to provide continuity of care to the extent possible.
Pretrial supervision and diversion services to reduce episodes of incarceration. Risk-based pre-trial services can reduce incarceration of defendants with low risk of criminal behavior or failure to appear in court. People with behavioral health needs placed in pretrial detention experience an increased likelihood of negative outcomes than when managed in the community.
Treatment courts for high-risk/high-need individuals. Treatment courts or specialized dockets can be developed, examples of which include adult drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans treatment courts.
Jail-based programming and health care services. Jail health care providers are constitutionally required to provide behavioral health and medical services to detainees, including the routine delivery of psychotropic medications, counseling, mutual support groups, and medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. Inmates may also have chronic health conditions (e.g., diabetes) needing treatment.
Collaboration with the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) specialist from the Veterans Health Administration. Jails and courts can improve continuity of care for incarcerated veterans through collaboration with their community’s VJO specialist. VJO specialists assist in the identification and service engagement of veterans incarcerated in local jails and served by the courts, such as veterans treatment courts.
Transition planning by the jail or in-reach providers. Transition planning improves reentry outcomes by organizing services around an individual’s needs in advance of release. Transition planning may be conducted by jail or prison staff or by in-reach providers from the community.
Medication and prescription access upon release from jail or prison. People leaving correctional institutions routinely lack access to health coverage or do not have financial resources to pay for medications. Inmates should be provided with a minimum of 30 days medication at release and have prescriptions in hand.
Warm hand-offs from corrections to providers increases engagement in services. A common gap is for people to be released from jail or prison with only referrals to service providers. Many people never make it to their intake appointment. Case managers that pick an individual up and transport them directly to services or housing supports will increase positive outcomes.
Specialized community supervision caseloads of people with mental disorders. Specialized caseloads where officers employ a problem-solving approach may achieve increased compliance for people with mental disorders in community supervision.
Medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders. Medication-assisted treatment approaches, from long-acting injectables to methadone maintenance, can reduce relapse episodes and overdoses among individuals returning from detention.
Access to recovery supports, benefits, housing, and competitive employment. Housing and employment are as important to justice-involved individuals as access to behavioral health services. Recovery supports, such as peer support and access to benefits, are also valuable services.
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