CCJBH Projects (2020‑23)

Public Health Meets Public Safety (PHMPS) is a two-year project being conducted in consultation with the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. The project aims to reduce the number of adults and young people with behavioral health needs in California’s justice system by marshaling data to inform policy decisions. Building on existing State and local data integration efforts, CSG will develop resources that support State, local, and community leaders in this shared goal. As part of the research process and outreach support from the Lived Experience Project (LEP) contractors, CSG has facilitated two focus groups with individuals with lived experience. Feedback provided during these focus groups will help inform areas of focus for the project. On our webpage, we have a dashboard for publicly available data that can be used to better understand the intersection of justice & behavioral health.

Products from this project are posted to our publications page

Download the Public Health Meets Public Safety Fact Sheet
Public Health Meets Public Safety Fact Sheet

People with behavioral health needs cycle in and out of the criminal justice system and incur high supervision costs, high health care costs, and poor outcomes. Historically, justice-involved people with behavioral health needs are likely to seek Medi-Cal funded behavioral health treatment in the community mental health system, and access to this treatment can, in part, help to improve both criminal justice and health outcomes. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded access to behavioral health care as many justice-involved people became newly eligible for Medi-Cal. CDCR and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), which oversees the Medi-Cal program, have made major investments in pre-release enrollment and “warm handoff” between correctional health care and community-based health care services.

The Medi-Cal Utilization Project (MCUP) takes place through an ongoing collaboration between CDCR and DHCS. Its goals are to track health services access and utilization for people involved in the criminal justice system and to inform quality improvement efforts as necessary. CCJBH received ongoing funding in FY 2016-17 to support the MCUP.  CCJBH currently uses this funding to support a Research Scientist III to lead all projects that involve research expertise, including the MCUP and other related projects, including Public Health Meets Public Safety (funded with State General Funds), which seeks to leverage existing data to inform the development of behavioral health / criminal justice policies. This position enhances CCJBH’s capacity to issue data-informed recommendations for policy changes and operational improvements. It also supports the general work of CCJBH, including CCJBH meetings, trainings, communication strategies, and the development and dissemination of the annual CCJBH legislative report and recommendations. 

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.” A draft SB 369 Barriers Table was developed based on a review of published literature and consultation with internal and external subject matter experts. Stakeholders participated in eight meetings and provided input on the SB 369 Barriers Table, which was presented at CCJBH’s April 30th Full Council meeting. Overall, the stakeholder process confirmed that individuals transitioning from incarceration frequently have multiple, complex needs that must be addressed through cross-system collaboration.

The report was finalized in early September 2021 and can be found here. We sincerely thank all those who participated in the stakeholder process by generously providing their time and expertise throughout the project.

With the passage of SB 803, Peer Certification, CCJBH embarked on a project to research a certification process for Forensic Peer Support Specialists. As part of the information gathering CCJBH staff met with Georgia’s Mental Health Consumers Network, Pennsylvania’s  Mental Health Consumers Network, and Yale PRCH. This information will be used to support and inform current efforts to expand the use of peers as this workforce can fill critical gaps to help individuals transitioning from incarceration to their community by aiding in navigation, access and engagement in health/behavioral health services and criminogenic interventions.

As reflected in CCJBH’s 2020 Annual Legislative Report recommendations, CCJBH believes that the use of Forensic Peer Support (FPS) Specialists can be of significant benefit to individuals who are justice-involved and have a mental health and/or substance use disorder. Given the Council’s recommendation, in January 2021, CCJBH embarked on a project to research established and best practices for FPS Specialists to learn more about this profession, including relevant certification standards, and to evaluate how this specialty could be implemented in California. Through their lived experience and specialized training, which goes beyond that of a traditional “peer” provider, a FPS Specialist is able to gain the trust and respect from those they serve, which makes them an important asset to the safety net workforce as they are able to help prepare individuals for reentry into their community after a period of incarceration, assist with activities of daily living, as well as help with navigation through, and engagement in, complex State and local public service delivery systems. Equally important, through mentorship, FPS Specialists can also provide a critical role in the journey of recovery. Thus far, CCJBH has conducted a review of publicly available resources on FPS models nationwide, core competencies, and specific qualifications for the FSP specialty. The findings and recommendations are currently being formulated into a report which, once drafted, CCJBH will circulate for Councilmember and public stakeholder input before finalizing.

CCJBH continues to collaborate with key partners to further efforts to study strategies to improve housing outcomes for individuals in the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health.

  • CCJBH is working with the Council of State Governments (CSGs) Justice Center to implement the policy recommendations established in CSG’s report, Reducing Homelessness for People with Behavioral Health Needs Leaving Prisons and Jails.
  • CCJBH, in partnership with the CSG Justice Center, will host a Housing Report Launch event on August 18, 2021.
  • The CSG report recommendations are included in the HCFC Action Plan under “Activities Prioritized for Implementation.”
  • CCJBH committed to assessing the recommendations to identify priorities for actions to be taken in Fiscal Years (FY) 2021-22 and 2022-23.
  • CCJBH facilitated collaborative partnerships with the department of Housing and Community Development on their COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program (Housing Is Key), linking DAPO, Probation, and Medi-Cal partners in Managed Care and County Behavioral Health to information and resources related to the rental assistance application process.

Additional products from this project are posted to our publications page

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 view our Legislative Update