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 and convened one additional focus group in November 2021. Feedback provided during these focus groups will help inform areas of focus for the project and the development of a data dashboard that is anticipated to be completed in March 2022. 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 expanded access to behavioral health care as many justice-involved people became newly eligible for Medi-Cal. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (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 performed data analyses for individuals transitioning from incarceration in FY 2017-2018 on Medi-Cal enrollment, Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan enrollment, mental health (non-specialty and specialty) service utilization, and substance use disorder treatment utilization. The reporting on these metrics will be published in the 2021 CCJBH Annual Legislative Report.

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.

To support CCJBH efforts in the area of juvenile justice realignment, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)/ California Correctional Health Care Services has released RFP #SD20-00107, inviting proposals from qualified contractors to develop a compendium that compiles current, relevant information regarding the established evidence-based and emerging practices and programs designed to serve youth who have traditionally been remanded to the CDCR Division of Juvenile Justice, but who, as of July 1, 2021, remain at the county level under the jurisdiction of county probation as a result of Senate Bill 823.

Based on the information in this compendium, the Contractor shall establish a detailed toolkit that counties may use to develop the necessary infrastructure and capacity to provide treatment for behavioral (e.g., anger management, sexually abusive behavioral/have a sustained sex offense) and/or behavioral health condition (i.e., mental health, trauma and/or substance use disorder), as well as interventions to address criminogenic risk and needs. The Contractor shall provide a detailed plan that counties may use to secure the relevant training and technical assistance. The work done through the compendium and toolkit will complement and support the efforts of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration and serve as a key resource for SB 823 Juvenile Justice Realignment. CCJBH posted the RFP on https://caleprocure.ca.gov/event/5225/0000021616 from December 9, 2021, to February 4, 2022, but no bids were received during the initial solicitation. CCJBH is currently reviewing next steps and anticipating reposting the RFP with a longer timeframe for organizations to prepare their bid.

The Diversion Technical Assistance Services contract was awarded to the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center on June 21, 2021 and will run through June 30, 2022. CSG will provide subject matter expert specialty consultation services and technical assistance to a minimum of 20 counties to enhance, sustain and/or expand local capacity to successfully implement mental health diversion. CSG will also participate and facilitate a portion of 12 collaboration meetings to assess what is and isn’t working within local diversion systems and examine impacts of COVID-19 on diversion efforts. A final report will be prepared that reflects a proposed set of policy recommendations that identify next steps to support best practices and expand diversion statewide.

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 (CSG) 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.
  • CCJBH engaged stakeholders in a listening session on November 3, 2021, to solicit feedback on the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) in the process of updating the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. CCJBH received input from a broad range of perspectives regarding barriers and best practices to combat homelessness for the behavioral health and justice involved population and shared the draft response CCJBH developed. On November 30, 2021, CCJBH submitted the final response to the USICH website response portal and send the response to the USICH Policy Director.
  • With the support of the California Health Care Foundation, CCJBH and CSG will be hosting a webinar series focused on how key stakeholders from across the justice, behavioral health, housing, and other systems can help people successfully transition out of the justice system and into the community by connecting them with housing options that meet their needs. The series, entitled Building Blocks for Coming Home: How California Communities Can Create Housing Opportunities for People with Complex Needs Leaving the Justice System, will consist of 5 webinars taking place from December 2021 to April 2022. Additional information on the webinar series can be found here.

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

Legislative Update

The following bills are being tracked by CCJBH.  Please contact elizabeth.vice@cdcr.ca.gov for additional information.   AB 27 (Rivas, Luz D) Homeless…

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National Recovery Month 2021 logo

Week 4 – Recovery Awareness Month Resources

On Wednesday, September 29th, CCJBH hosted a presentation by the Amity Foundation. As a provider contracted with the CDCR Division…

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National Recovery Month 2021 logo

Week 3 – Recovery Awareness Month Resources

The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) celebrated Recovery Awareness Month by holding a variety of educational webinars…

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Week 2 – Youth Focused Recovery Resources

Young People in Recovery (YPR) envisions a world where all young people have the resources they need to thrive in recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol.

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