California State University of Sacramento Lived Experience Project

In 2019, CCJBH contracted with the California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) to determine how best to engage statewide public outreach efforts surrounding individuals with lived experience in the behavioral health and criminal justice systems. Outreach efforts focused on identifying issues and potential solutions to support individuals with lived experiences, their families, and networks. Initial efforts involved CSUS facilitating a series of stakeholder engagement activities that culminated in CCJBH establishing regional stakeholder advocacy contracts to support local community-based organizations, each of which are implementing unique projects that include individuals with lived experience to help reduce justice involvement of individuals with behavioral health needs.

CSUS then embarked on a project to identify hiring barriers for individuals with lived experience, which consisted of an online survey and interviews with key staff from community-based organizations, state agencies, county behavioral health departments, and federally qualified health centers. The final report, Successful Approaches To Employing Individuals With Lived Experience In the Criminal Justice And Behavioral Health Fieldswas finalized in September 2021, and the findings/recommendations of this report were used to inform a September 13th follow-up workshop to identify solutions and implementation strategies for hiring individuals with lived experience in the behavioral health and criminal justice systems.  A subsequent report, Solutions To Hiring Barriers for Individuals With Lived Experience To Work In The Criminal Justice And Behavioral Health Fieldssummarizing the information gathered from this workshop was released in August 2022.

More than eight of every ten Medi-Cal enrolled individuals released from incarceration in California have addiction/substance use or mental health needs – yet far fewer receive Medi-Cal services for those needs. To understand the reason behind these patterns and advocate for changes to better serve the behavioral health and justice involved (BH/JI) population, California State University at Sacramento (CSUS) is supporting CCJBH by facilitating a series of listening sessions to hear from individuals with behavioral health conditions who are justice involved, as well as providers who serve the BH/JI population. CSUS, in collaboration with local community-based partners, will host regional in-person listening sessions from February to April 2023, with the goal of hearing from a range of perspectives on this topic. The sessions aim to gather feedback on why BH/JI population does or does not use behavioral health services, particularly Medi-Cal services.