CCJBH Projects (2020‑23)
In 2020, The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) received funding from the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) to increase advocacy capacity of those with lived experience, increase education and training opportunities, increase organizational and community awareness, and improve collaborative efforts and partners at a regional/ local level. Through a competitive bid process, CCJBH awarded LEP contracts to Cal Voices, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Transitions Clinic Network (TCN), and the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partners (LARRP). The goals of the LEP projects are to lift up the voices of individuals with lived experience given their behavioral health (BH) conditions and involvement in the criminal justice (CJ) system, raise community awareness, and inform policies related to issues faced by the BH/CJ population
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.
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.
The Governor’s veto of SB 369 required the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (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 recently 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. A report based on the SB 369 Barriers Table is currently under development and will be shared for stakeholder review in early June. A final Council vote to approve the table is tentatively scheduled for June 24, 2021.
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.
Homelessness is a longstanding problem in California, as it is in much of the U.S. While homelessness has many root causes, including an overall lack of affordable housing and lack of coordination between social service systems, incarceration is a major risk factor. Reducing Homelessness for People with Behavioral Health Needs Leaving Prisons and Jails highlights 5 areas where people with behavioral health needs leaving California prisons and jails experience the greatest challenges in accessing housing. It also provides 10 complementary recommendations for actions that state, county, and local leaders can take to reduce homelessness among this population. CCJBH will use this information to support and inform efforts to expand housing and address homelessness, advocating to ensure resources are dedicated to those with behavioral health needs, including those involved with the justice system, given the Administration’s significant investments to address these critical issues.