CCJBH Year in Review 2020

In 2020, CCJBH continued to pursue its mission of supporting proven strategies that promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, and planned reentry and the preservation of public safety, albeit with some modifications to our original work plan. To protect the safety of Council members, as well as meeting presenters and participants, rather than hold meetings in person, CCJBH moved to a virtual platform for both the Full Council and workgroup meetings (Juvenile Justice, Diversion and Reentry). Council meetings were primarily spent on educational efforts that covered the impact of COVID-19 PHE across all areas of behavioral health and the criminal justice systems, housing and homelessness, systemic racism, and CCJBH project updates. CCJBH produced the following written briefs and factsheets for use by BH/CJ policymakers and other administrative leaders:

CCJBH Leadership

CCJBH saw a change of leadership in 2020. A new CDCR Secretary and a new CCJBH Executive Officer joined CCJBH Council in October 2020.

October 1, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Kathleen Allison as Secretary for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), as Secretary, Ms Allison will serve as Chairperson of the Council.

In her over 30 years at CDCR, she has held several leadership roles, including most recently Undersecretary of Operations. Prior to that, she was Director of the Division of Adult Institutions (DAI) from 2016 to 2018; Deputy Director of Facility Support from 2012 to 2016; and Associate Director for the Female Offender Programs and Services from 2011 to 2012. Ms. Allison also served in several positions at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran from 2002 to 2011, including Warden; Chief Deputy Administrator; Correctional Administrator; and Correctional Health Services Administrator II. She also held several positions at Avenal State Prison from 1987 to 2002, including Community Resources Manager and Senior Medical Technical Assistant. Ms. Allison began her career as a Medical Technical Assistant at Avenal State Prison in 1987. She is a licensed Registered Nurse.

CCJBH is grateful for the opportunity to work with Secretary Allison on the goals and objectives of the Council and we know that we will benefit tremendously from her guidance.

For more about Secretary Allison go to the CDCR Office of the Secretary website here.


CCJBH’s new executive officer is Brenda Grealish. Ms. Grealish has over 25 years of State of California experience and is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health. Prior to her appointment to the Council, she worked in multiple positions at the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) including Chief of the Medi-Cal Behavioral Health Division, Acting Deputy and Assistant Deputy Director of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services and Chief of the Mental Health Services Division. At DHCS, Ms. Grealish was responsible for overseeing the planning, implementation, and evaluation of DHCS mental health and substance use disorder services, programs, and policies relating to Medi-Cal. Ms. Grealish has experience in planning, organizing, and directing program operations and policy formulation for both Medi-Cal and non Medi-Cal community mental health services, as well as administration of the Specialty Mental Health Services 1915 (b) waiver and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Mental Health Block Grant. Early in her career, she worked in several research positions at the former Department of Mental Health and at the California Department of Corrections Office of Research, the latter of which she was appointed as Deputy Director in 2012. In 2013, on behalf of DHCS, Ms. Grealish began her service to CCJBH, which now makes her uniquely qualified to serve as the new Executive Officer. Ms. Grealish earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology from the California State University, Sacramento, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Davis.

Announcements, Resources, Articles and Studies

CCJBH is pleased to share the announcement from The Office of the California Surgeon General (CA-OSG) regarding the release of their report entitled, the Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health. The report lays out how to advance systemic reforms that recognize and respond to the effects of ACEs and toxic stress. Read the full press release here and visit for more information.



CCJBH will submit our 19th Annual Legislative Report on December 31, 2020. The report will be posted on the CCJBH website in January.  For an introduction into our recommendations for the coming year in the areas of reentry, diversion and juvenile justice go to our website here.

Legislative Update

The 2021/2022 Legislative Session began on December 7, 2020. The legislature will reconvene on January 4, 2021. CCJBH will be tracking the following:

AB 27 (Rivas, Luz D) Homeless children and youths and unaccompanied youths: reporting. Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see AB 27

AB 29 (Cooper D) State bodies: meetings. Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see AB 29

AB 46 (Rivas, Luz D) California Youth Empowerment Act.

Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see AB 46

AB 68 (Salas D) Affordable housing: California State Auditor’s Report.

Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see AB 68

AB 71 (Rivas, Luz D) Statewide homelessness solutions program.

Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see AB 71

AB 77 (Petrie-Norris D) Substance use disorder treatment services.

Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see AB 77

SB 40 (Hurtado D) Health care workforce development: California Medicine Scholars Program.

Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see SB 40

SB 56 (Durazo D) Medi-Cal: eligibility.

Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see SB 56

SB 61 (Hurtado D) Workforce training programs: supportive services. Introduced: 12/7/2020 – For more information see SB 61

CCJBH Job Opportunities

Come Work With Us

Are you interested in working in a fast-paced, social justice driven organization?

CCHBH is looking for a Staff Service Analyst (SSA/AGPA).
Please follow the link here to apply.

California Job Opportunities

CSG Justice Center is hiring for a Policy Analyst who will be based in California as part of the CSG Justice Center’s behavioral health team. Apply for the BH Policy Analyst (CA) at Council of State Governments using the link below.

Our mailing address is: