Mental Health News and Announcements — 13 December 2012
Switch the Script: Curb Incarceration of People with Behavioral Health Disorders

In the U.S., 90% of the prison population has a mental illness, addiction disorder, or both.

It’s time to flip the script!

The National Council Conference’s new Criminal Justice Track has a prototypical speaker lineup and curriculum developed by SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation and the Council of State Governments Justice Center. You can expect to learn 5 ways to reduce incarceration of people with mental illnesses and addictions.

1.    Decriminalize Mental Illness and Addiction: “There is something wrong in a society when we are willing to spend more money to incarcerate people with mental illnesses than to treat them,” said Judge Steven Leifman, headliner of the 2013 Criminal Justice Track. This nationally recognized judge will lead a thought provoking discussion on the criminalization of mental illness.

2.    Buddy Up to Corrections: Can you build on a shared framework with corrections to reduce recidivism? Take a look at how real collaborations between behavioral health and corrections have made a difference for inmates with co-occurring disorders transitioning from prison.

3.    Employ Peers in Justice Interventions: How can peers improve criminal justice interventions? What do recovery-oriented diversion and re-entry look like and how can they be structured for reimbursement? See how consumers can provide services to their peers in the justice system.

4.    Address Criminogenic Needs: How do criminogenic risk factors contribute to the involvement of people with behavioral health disorders in the criminal justice system? How do you integrate practices that take into account individuals’ risk factors? Discover how agency leaders reduce recidivism and save money by addressing criminogenic risk factors.

5.    Focus on Trauma and Family: In 2007, 1.7 million children had a parent in state prison, a number that has skyrocketed over the last 20 years. The majority of these parents have a behavioral health disorder and high rates of trauma. Discover how collaborating with criminal justice agencies to adopt trauma and family-focused interventions promotes recovery and reduces recidivism. Take home concrete strategies.

Register today, and consider bringing a team of 3 or more to get the steepest discounts.

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