CHA News Article

Report Recommends Reducing Incarceration for People With Mental Illness

A new report from the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission identifies how California can reduce incarceration of people with unmet mental health challenges. Specifically, the report offers six recommendations:

  • California’s mental health agencies, in partnership with law enforcement and others, should have a comprehensive prevention-focused plan to reduce the incarceration of mental health consumers in their communities.
  • The Board of State and Community Corrections should facilitate a collaborative effort with counties to identify, develop and deploy services and strategies, including universal screening for mental health needs at booking and more training for custody staff.
  • California must maximize diversion from the criminal justice system, including expanding options for restoring competency to those incompetent to stand trial.
  • The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health should fortify its efforts to support collaboration among state agencies toward prevention and diversion efforts.
  • California’s Health and Human Services Agency should reduce any barriers to the availability of data that would help identify service gaps.