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CCJBH September 2021 Newsletter

Suicide Prevention Awareness and Substance Abuse Recovery Awareness Month

Suicide Prevention Month and National Recovery Month 2021 logos

Throughout September, CCJBH is providing resources and holding webinars in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and National Recovery Month – two distinct and important issues for the population of individuals who have behavioral health needs and are involved in the justice system. Webinar overviews are as follows:

September 8, 2021: The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) highlighted state suicide and self-harm data, providing a detailed examination to show how suicide and self-harm have been experienced differently by age, race/ethnicity and/or sex, particularly during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) shared moving videos created by youth for the Directing Change Program and Film Contest, as well as evidence-based suicide prevention strategies outlined in the Suicide Prevention Activation Kit produced by California’s Mental Health Movement: Each Mind Matters. The toolkit compiles a number of helpful resources, including suicide prevention resources for first responders and individuals in the restaurant industry. To learn more about the work CalMHSA is doing, visit their website. For more information and resources, please visit the CCJBH website.

September 15, 2021: The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) discussed prevention and wellness services, including Project Cal-Well and Mental Health Wellness Training Grants, which are a product of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grants, as well as DHCS’ Elevate Youth California Program. The presentation also discussed recovery services included in the Statewide Behavioral Health Response and Rescue Project and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. In addition, perspectives from former justice-system involved individuals were shared by members of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition to highlight successes and challenges for this vulnerable population. For more information and resources, please visit the CCJBH website.

September 22, 2021: California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) provided an overview and update on the Integrated Substance Use Disorder Treatment (ISUDT) Program. Additionally, the Transitions Clinic Network shared how their Community Health Workers, individuals with lived experience in the behavioral health and criminal justice systems, are working to successfully support individuals who are in need of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and other services as they transition from incarceration to their communities. For more information and resources, please visit the CCJBH website.

September 29, 2021: As a provider contracted with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Division of Rehabilitative Programs’ Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming, the Amity Foundation provides a myriad of reentry services including, but not limited to, case management, linkage and support to access mental health, linkage and support to employment services and SUD services, housing, and social support. Amity Foundation provided an overview of their program and services, including perspectives from individuals with lived experience who have benefitted from this comprehensive approach to reentry services, which are designed to support individuals as they transition from incarceration to their communities. For more information and resources, please visit the CCJBH website.

CCJBH 2021 Project Updates

Senate Bill (SB) 369 Update

CCJBH partnered with CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations, Division of Rehabilitative Programs, CDCR Statewide Mental Health Program, and CCHCS’ ISUDT Team, also known as the CDCR Transition Team, to work with stakeholders over the past several months to address the Governor’s Senate Bill 369 Veto Message, which directed CCJBH to “engage with stakeholders, evaluate the barriers of reentry and determine what steps need to be taken to overcome those barriers.” The report was finalized in early September 2021 and is now posted on the CCJBH website. We sincerely thank all those who participated in the stakeholder process by generously providing their time and expertise throughout the project.

Mental Health Diversion

CCJBH is working collaboratively with the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to help expand the use of Mental Health Diversion programs across the State. As part of this effort, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center will be providing training, technical assistance, and consultation to a variety of counties to enhance, sustain, and/or expand local capacity to successfully implement mental health diversion. The CSG Justice Center recently disseminated a statewide 20-item survey to local stakeholders with implementation roles in diversion that included questions on current diversion practices, challenges, and the impact of COVID-19 on diversion programming. Based on the results of the survey, especially focusing on the responses related to training needs, CSG Justice Center will develop curriculum for fall learning community sessions, anticipated to begin in late October 2021, which will include presentations by relevant subject matter experts and breakout discussion groups. These fall learning sessions will complement the training efforts used during the DSH Diversion Academy, which will help expand the Pre-Trial Felony Mental Health Diversion Program to new counties. For more information on DSH’s programs and activities, please visit their Diversion Programs website.

Solutions to Hiring Individuals with Lived Experience to Work in the Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems  

On September 13, 2021, CCJBH collaborated with California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) to facilitate a workshop focused on promoting employment of individuals with lived experience (LE). The workshop was the third part in a multiphase project that began with the dissemination of an online survey and key informant interviews in fall 2020, which focused on strategies to support LE staff who work in the behavioral health (BH) and criminal justice (CJ) systems and resulted in the identification of barriers to employment for individuals with LE. The September workshop built upon this work by focusing on identifying paths to overcome these barriers and implement solutions, with unique perspectives from employers, academic programs, Federally Qualified Health Centers, individuals with LE, and other stakeholders. The feedback collected at the workshop will be used to inform CCJBH’s continued efforts to increase employment opportunities for individuals with LE in the BH/CJ system. CCJBH and CSUS will be collaborating to document the information gathered in the September workshop, and anticipate a final report will be posted to CCJBH’s website by the end of the calendar year.

CCJBH Workgroup Updates

CCJBH holds bi-monthly workgroup meetings to collaborate with stakeholders and discuss pressing issues related to diversion and reentry services and the juvenile justice population. The latest Diversion and Reentry Workgroup was held on September 17, 2021, with the purpose of providing an update on CCJBH’s Mental Health Diversion contract, as well as review findings and recommendations for CCJBH’s 2021 Legislative Report. The most recent Juvenile Justice Workgroup was held on September 10, 2021, with the purpose of sharing information on CCJBH’s Request for Proposal for the Juvenile Justice Compendium and Toolkit, as well as to review findings and recommendations for CCJBH’s 2021 Legislative Report. Dates for future meetings are listed below.  

Announcements, Resources, Articles, and Studies

Juvenile Justice Compendium and Toolkit Request for Proposal

CCJBH is in the process of finalizing a Juvenile Justice Compendium and Toolkit Request for Proposal (RFP) that will provide a compilation of information related to best practices and evidence-based programs that have been shown to be effective in serving youth involved in the criminal justice system who have serious behavioral health needs. The work done through the toolkit and compendium will complement the efforts of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration and serve as a key resource for county probation, child welfare, and behavioral health departments, as they navigate the increase in high risk and high need youth being served at the county level, per SB 823. CCJBH has drafted the RFP and it is currently under internal review. It is anticipated the RFP will be posted to https://caleprocure.ca.gov in early October, 2021.

CalAIM

DHCS’ California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Initiative is a multi-year effort to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of the Medi-Cal population by implementing broad delivery system, program and payment reforms. In August 2021, during the federal public comment period, CCJBH submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a letter of support for DHCS’ 1115 Demonstration waiver, which includes several CalAIM components. Also, to begin preparing justice system partners for the CalAIM components that will impact the justice-involved population, including those with behavioral health needs, CCJBH prepared a Brief Overview of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)’ California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Proposals that Impact the Criminal Justice Population.

More broadly, DHCS has hosted the following three CalAIM webinars:

In addition, in September 2021, DHCS released an Enhanced Care Management Policy Guide and Medi-Cal In Lieu of Services Policy Guide.

USICH Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is in the process of creating a new Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, and is accepting feedback online at https://www.usich.gov/fsp. The portal will be open for feedback until the end of November, 2021. 

The federal strategic plan will help communities leverage the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which could help to rehouse up to 211,000 households with the combined efforts of the CARES Act. The first plan was launched in 2010, but with a rise in homelessness in the last few years there is an imminent need for an updated plan guided by equity and evidence to address the deep-rooted racial inequities and advance Housing First. 

Who should provide feedback?

All interested stakeholders are invited to provide feedback, but an emphasis is placed on the perspectives of the following groups:

  • People who have experienced or are currently experiencing homelessness
  • People who serve the LGBT, BIPOC, or veteran communities
  • People whose work involves the justice system

To learn more about USICH’s Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, visit their website.  

Incompetent to Stand Trial Solutions Workgroup

The California Health and Human Services (CHHS) Agency and DSH are convening an Incompetent to Stand Trail (IST) Solutions Workgroup, with three sub-workgroups, to identify actionable solutions that address the increasing number of individuals with serious mental illness who become justice-involved and deemed IST on felony charges. The workgroup has been tasked with submitting recommendations for short-, medium- and long-term solutions to the CHHS and Department of Finance by November 30, 2021. To learn more, visit the IST Solutions Workgroup website.

Putting the Funding Pieces Together: Guide to Strategic Uses of New and Recent State and Federal Funds to Prevent and End Homelessness.

The California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council (HCFC) have developed a new guidance document designed to support the most effective uses of the historic levels of State and Federal investments into programs that can prevent and end homelessness. The investments outlined in this document will help drive significant progress in action areas identified in the Action Plan for Preventing and Ending Homelessness in California, adopted earlier this year. The guide is split into four parts: the first focuses on the major federal and State investments, the second focuses on using funding resources strategically, the third focuses local investment plans, and the fourth focuses on defining crisis response and permanent housing interventions.

DHCS Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Spending Plan

The American Rescue Plan Act provides states with a temporary increase in federal funds for certain HCBS Medicaid expenditures from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. On July 12, 2021, DHCS submitted to CMS an initial HCBS Spending Plan and, after receiving CMS’ response, DHCS re-submitted an updated HCBS Spending Plan to CMS on September 17, 2021. Of the 30 initiatives included in the HCBS Spending Plan, 12 directly relate to the behavioral health and/or justice involved population to address retaining and building a network of home and community based direct care workers, provide navigation services, and help develop an infrastructure of home and community based services for the BH/JI, aging and disabled populations, totally in $2.65 billion in funding. Seven of the twelve initiatives have been approved by CMS and five are currently under review. 

CSG American Rescue Plan Funding Guide

The American Rescue Plan was passed by Congress in March 2021 and allocates $1.9 trillion to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released an American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Guide to Advancing Justice-Related Goals that outlines eight justice-related goals that state leaders can support with available funding. Additionally, the CSG Justice Center hosted a webinar on June 15, 2021 informing stakeholders on how the American Rescue Plan assists with responding to the behavioral health crisis. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

Position Available:
Deputy Director for the Office of Youth and Community Restoration

The Deputy Director of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration (OYCR) reports to the Director of the OYCR and brings expertise and knowledge in best practices and policies within the juvenile care continuum. A primary responsibility of the Deputy Director is to integrate work across three distinct units to ensure that policy recommendations are informed by data and evaluation as well as lessons learned from the field. The incumbent serves as the principal policymaker for the OYCR’s administrative and fiscal functions. The Deputy Director exercises broad policy making and implementation authority. Additional information about the job can be found in the Duty Statement. Applications for this position are now accessible on CalCareers, and the final filing date for this position is October 4, 2021.

Position Available:
Director for the Office of Diversion and Reentry Within the County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services

The Director for the Office of Diversion and Reentry reports directly to the Director of Community Programs in the Department of Health Services. The Office of Diversion and Reentry is dedicated to preventing or reducing the incarceration and recidivism for individuals with behavioral health issues. The primary responsibilities include oversight and coordination of county-wide diversion for individuals with serious mental illness or substance use disorder and those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless upon discharge. Additional information on the position can be found here. Interested individuals should submit a statement of interest and resume materials to Tonia Moore at tomoore@dhs.lacounty.gov.

Legislative Updates

CCJBH tracks legislation of interest to our mission to promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, a planned re-entry and the preservation of public safety. For a complete list of the legislation tracked by CCJBH this year, please visit our website.

CCJBH Webpage Redesign

CCJBH has recently redesigned our webpage, go take a look at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/ccjbh/ to get updates on meetings, projects, news and events, and publications our team has been working on!

Master Calendar

The Forensic Mental Health Association of California (FMHAC) has created a collaborative calendar for organizations with similar interests to post their upcoming events. The calendar can be accessed at Industry Calendar – FMHAC.  

2021 CCJBH Meeting Dates

CCJBH Council Meetings

The Council is tasked with several statutory goals including:

  • Investigating, identifying, and promoting cost-effective strategies that prevent adults and juveniles with behavioral health needs from becoming incarcerated;
  • Identifying incentives for state and local justice and health programs to adopt such approaches;
  • Reporting activities to the Legislature; and
  • Providing recommendations for improving the cost-effectiveness of existing behavioral health and criminal justice programs.

Calendar Year 2021
Full Council and Workgroup Meeting Dates

Full Council Meetings

October 29 (Friday)2:00 PM – 4:30 PM
December 10 (Friday)Time TBD

Juvenile Justice Workgroup

November 12 (Friday)1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Diversion/Reentry Workgroup

November 19 (Friday)1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Upcoming Webinars/Events

California Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program Listening Session hosted by DHCS

When: Friday, October 1, 2021, from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT

Description: The Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program (BHCIP) provides DHCS funding to award competitive grants to qualified entities to construct, acquire and rehabilitate real estate assets or to invest in mobile crisis infrastructure to expand the community continuum of behavioral health treatment resources. The listening session will outline how BHCIP provides a unique opportunity to create new capacity within the behavioral health facility infrastructure throughout California, share how/when funding will be available, and explain the technical assistance that will be available to develop infrastructure plans and implementation. In addition, the listening session will be a tremendous opportunity to provide insights directly to DHCS and discuss solutions that can play a part in making significant and lasting impact on the behavioral health field.

Register here.

Taking the Call: A National Conference Exploring Innovative Community Responder Models

When: Wednesday, October 20 – Thursday, October 21, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET

Description: The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and the University of Cincinnati are hosting a two-day event to explore the opportunities and challenges posed by community responder models. Communities across the U.S. are launching new responses to ensure that emergency calls receive the appropriate response. By diverting calls involving mental health or substance use crises, homelessness, and other situation that don’t require traditional law enforcement, the community responder model can improve community health, lessen the burden on law enforcement, and reduce unnecessary justice system contact. 

Who Should Attend? Interested participants can register either as an individual or a team. A team can be three to seven members and must include a behavioral health and public safety official. Teams will have access to free consultation during the event, as well as ongoing consultation to support their continued planning efforts. 

Register here.

Mental Health Matters Day

When: September 29, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (PST)

Description: This virtual conference, hosted by Mental Health America of California (MHAC), is intended to strengthen the community and better the lives of those with mental health challenges. This years’ theme is Resilient California: Celebrating Diversity & Connecting for Wellness and will feature keynote speaker, Lisa Ling. Several exhibitors, including CCJBH, will be hosting virtual booths during the event to share the work they are doing in the behavioral health field.

This is a free event, open to ALL. Register here.

Preventing Trauma and Suicide during Catastrophic Events and Beyond: Strategies for Preventing Suicide in California

When: September 29, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (PST)

Description: Catastrophic events like the COVID-19 pandemic, hurricanes, or other disasters can cause major upheaval in the lives of individuals and communities as a whole, disrupting the social fabric and cutting people off from much needed support. Preventing trauma and suicide under these conditions, and in the long term, requires dedicated attention and resources.  

In this webinar, presenters from the Prevention Institute and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) will introduce their new toolkit on preventing trauma and suicide during catastrophic events and beyond. This toolkit offers a foundation for prevention activities to implement during periods of infrastructure disruption due to catastrophic events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Presenters will provide an overview of the suicide prevention modules, as well as guidance and tools to help assess local contexts, populations most impacted by suicide, and promising suicide prevention strategies. Additionally, a presenter from CDPH will demonstrate how to use available data to guide prevention efforts in California. A new resource will be highlighted that illustrates how to access state and county-level suicide data using the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch’s EpiCenter website.   

Register here.  

Save the Date: Words to Deeds XV

When: Friday, November 5, 2021.

Description: The Forensic Mental Health Association of California is proud to host the annual Words to Deeds conference, which gives leaders in California the opportunity to discuss relevant issues in forensic mental health. The Words to Deeds conference is for “First Adapters,” defined as decision makers who collaborate to develop and implement strategies to change the paradigm for criminal justice and mental health. This annual event features dynamic presentations, as well as multidisciplinary discussions among agency and organization leaders in criminal justice and corrections, state and local governments, the judiciary, and behavioral health directors and providers.

Registration for the virtual event is not yet open. CCJBH will continue to share details as more information becomes available.

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