Putting people before labels.
Denver spoke. We listened. We need greater supports, connections, practices, and opportunities to redirect people with mental health and substance misuse crisis away from the criminal justice system.
Increased diversion opportunities.
Far too many people with mental illnesses are in jails and prisons. We need improved crisis response options and diverse ways to respond to crisis to reduce the need for arrest. We need more opportunities at different points in the justice system where jail time is reduced or avoided, and the individual is linked to comprehensive community-based services and treatment.
More emphasis and access to services.
More emphasis and access to mental health and substance misuse services and supports that follow someone across programs, and institutions while in, and after they leave, the justice system. Access to peer support services to assist individuals in making decisions that promote their recovery.
Better connected systems for justice, health and housing.
Even though the same individual touches all of these systems, the data, policies, funding, and decision-making for all of these are fragmented. We need universal procedures for referrals, transition planning, and release of information to better support individuals as they transition into community.