Monthly Archives: December 2014

It’s time for jails to stop being mental health institutions

This isn’t a new idea. But there is a new national initiative that was introduced this week on Capitol Hill that calls for “stepping up” efforts to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails. Two national organizations are leading the unprecedented initiative to help advance counties’ efforts to reduce the number of individuals with mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders in local jails. To read the summary of the initiative, click on this link:

http://csgjusticecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SteppingUpInitiative.pdf 

Community Advocates and NAMI Montgomery County, PA support the initiative and have been advocating in recent months to form a collaboration of stakeholders, including peers, family members and advocates, to address this issue. Coincidentally, the first component in the national initiative is A Call for Action which recommends as its first step, the formation of a team of county leaders including elected officials, sheriffs, jail administrators, judges, community corrections, treatment providers, consumers, advocates and other stakeholders, to bring about system changes based on data-driven strategies.