Each year, 10 million people are booked into U.S. jails. Studies show that rates of mental illness among those people are at least three to four times higher than the rates of the general population.
And contrary to what many people think, these people have been incarcerated because they displayed the symptoms of untreated mental illness.
The Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with the National GAINS/TAPA Center, recently announced a new national project that supports chief justices who have established statewide task forces to improve the response to people with mental illness involved in the criminal justice center.
The Chief Justices’ Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative kicks off with a two-day policy forum next week.
Agenda items include:
- Thinking Beyond the Courts: Responding to the Increasing Numbers of People with Mental Illness in Jail and Prison
- Interface with the Behavioral Health System
- Interface with Local Government and Municipal/County Court Systems
- Getting and Using Data Effectively
- Development of Year-long Strategic Plan