Who is CCJBH?

We are a 12-Member appointed council, chaired by the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Members are a mix of local experts from both criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

What does CCJBH do?

Through an annual legislative report and monthly activities, CCJBH investigates, identifies, and promotes cost-effective strategies for youth and adults with mental health needs that:

  • Prevent criminal involvement (initial and recidivism).
  • Improve behavioral health services.
  • Identify incentives to encourage state and local criminal justice, juvenile justice, and mental health programs to adopt approaches that work.

What are CCJBH’s current priorities?

The Council is focused on identifying and promoting integrated, cost-effective strategies to:

  • Divert persons with mental health needs from the criminal justice system;
  • Improve training for encounters with persons with mental illness; and to
  • Prevent youth with mental health needs from becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.

 Each year, an estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses are admitted to jails nationally. Almost 3/4 of these adults also have drug and alcohol use problems. Once incarcerated, these individuals stay longer in jail and upon release are at a higher risk of returning to incarceration than those without these illnesses. Our state institutions managed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation mirror similar conditions and the population with mental health needs, particularly serious ones, is growing.

CCJBH is working to diminish the stigma that justice-involved individuals with mental illness face, which results in scarcely allocated resources and opportunities to reduce incarceration as a default for unavailable services and supports.