Creating and Sustaining a Highly Effective Mental

Creating and Sustaining a
Highly Effective Mental
Health/Criminal Justice
Stakeholder group
October 14, 2013
Presenters: Leslie Weisman, LCSW
Captain Brian Berke, Arlington County
Police Department
Learn the critical partners to include in a mental
health/criminal justice stakeholder group and
how to engage with these parties;
Learn how to set up an action plan that keeps
the group on track and moving forward with
strategic planning;
Learn how to effectively engage all parties to
include consumers, family members, and key
mental health and criminal justice stakeholders
History of Arlington Mental Health
Criminal Justice Review Committee
Committee started in May ‘03 in an attempt to
look at the process that seriously mentally ill
(SMI) people go through in Arlington in terms of
the criminal justice system
Where do SMI fall through the cracks?
Where are new programming or stronger
partnerships needed?
Original Goals of MHCJR Committee
Review current mental health and county jail
systems and processes for treating SMI
Make recommendations for system
improvements to more effectively divert, treat
and monitor persons with mental illness who
become involved in the system
Create effective linkages for mentally ill persons
as they leave the jail
Implement recommendations
Recommendations of the
Committee led to system
improvements over the past 10
years, new grant funded programs,
and a thriving criminal
justice/mental health partnership
Meetings are held monthly for 90 minutes on 3rd
Wednesday of every month no matter what...
Agenda is developed by our Behavioral
Healthcare Division Chief who runs meeting with
Crisis Intervention Center (CIC) Bureau Chief
Agendas consist of report outs on any kind of
forensic (mental health/criminal justice) issue,
updates, presentations from county or other
Committee Membership
Behavioral Healthcare staff, i.e. forensic team, interns, CIT Coordinator, jail
based mental health staff, substance abuse staff, senior management
Local NAMI representatives
Consumer with history of SMI and incarceration
Sheriff’s Department
Magistrate or designee
Public Defender and Sentencing Advocate
Commonwealth’s Attorney representative
Police Department
Community Corrections
State Probation and Parole
General District Court Judge
Year One
Spent the year going over the needs and
gaps in our mental health and criminal
justice systems in terms of best serving
the justice-involved SMI
 Networking, relationship building, roles
were defined
Year Two
Extensive study of non-violent mentally ill
in the jail
 Brainstorming around reducing SMI
population in the jail
 Additional focus: medical clearance
process related to Temporary Detention
Year Three
After two years of looking at needs/gaps in
Arlington, committee voted to create a Forensic
Case Management/Jail Diversion team
Began process of seeking grants to fund the
Year Four
Received a $75,000 grant through the Virginia
General Assembly for jail diversion (which
included requirement of having a stakeholder
group) – used dollars to hire a supervisor
Received a $70,000 grant from then Dept. of
MH, SA and Retardation Services to fund a Jail
Discharge Planner for jail based work and
discharge planning for restoration patients at
state hospital
Year Five
Received NAMI Northern Virginia award for advancing
jail diversion program in our community
Began development of a proposal for a Crisis
Intervention Center (CIC)(Police drop off center) with
CIT trained officers providing security to Emergency
Services and Jail Diversion staff and clients. This was
particularly critical after the Virginia Tech tragedy.
Focus on Mandatory Outpatient treatment along with
wide range of comprehensive Crisis Intervention
CIC also will eventually provide 23 hour Office Based
Crisis Stabilization Services
After several years of groundwork around CIT, our first
Arlington CIT training was held for recruits (24 hours)
Year Six
2nd CIT training with participants from Police,
Sheriff’s Office, Metro Transit Police, and inmate
Initiated Re-Entry Committee in the jail (now
meeting bi-weekly for the past 5 years)
MH Law Reform Commission, formed after VA
Tech tragedy, allocated MH Law Reform dollars
throughout Virginia. We received several staff for
the CIC through these dollars
3rd CIT training which included Dispatchers
Year Seven
NAMI Arlington award for accomplishments over past six
Received $259,000 grant from Dept. of Behavioral
Healthcare and Developmental Services for
implementation of Post-Booking Magistrate Program (2
Master’s degree clinicians, Peer Specialist, and admin.)
Received $250,000 one time Federal earmark for DIP
(Drunk in Public) project (hired two clinicians)
4th and 5th CIT trainings
Year Eight
Received four year grant from DCJS for CIT Coordinator
Co-location of all “front door” mental health programs as
part of development of drop off center
6th, 7th, and 8th CIT trainings
Began pilot project called Project Exodus, wrap services
around SMI on probation with goal of reducing probation
violations and hospitalizations
1st 8 hour CIT Dispatcher training and 1st 4 hour CIT
Magistrate training
Year Nine
8th and 9th CIT trainings
DOC Re-Entry specialists joined
Three forensic staff trained at Institute for
Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy on
conducting Competency to Stand Trial
Year Ten
Development of “F-WRAP” groups run by
forensic Peer Specialist
 10th, 11th, and 12th CIT trainings to include
Campus Police from local universities
 Addition of justice involved peer
Feedback from Committee
Magistrate: “increased my overall awareness and knowledge of
mental illness allowing me to develop productive working
relationships with individuals in other agencies”
“Gave me a ‘bigger picture’ perspective of the mentally ill in the
criminal justice system and the positive impact I can make as a
“Showed me how a stakeholder group can enable different agencies
to collaborate, communicate together to successfully solve
problems, improve services, and achieve goals in ways that would
not be possible operating on their own “.
More feedback…
Director of Corrections: “…by far one of the best resources available
to me as the Director of Corrections…this partnership and the
assets gained from the collaboration has been a focal point of our
success in the Arlington County Detention Facility.”
“The Cmte created the Post-Booking Magistrate Project which
allows us to divert non violent arrestees with mental health issues to
county services diverting them from often lengthy stays in jail…”
“The Cmte has been an important part of our success over the last
ten years and continues to be the reason I can sleep easier at night.
It has literally transformed the way we think and operate in our
Even more feedback…
Chief, Probation and Parole: “The MHCJR Cmte has been invaluable in
bringing the heads of all stakeholder agencies together to plan and
implement strategies to most effectively deal with the SMI.”
“Through such projects as Project Exodus, we have been able to establish
collaborative relationships between our line staff practitioners which is
where the real results are achieved.”
“The Re-Entry Committee, with particular assistance from the Forensic
Team and Corrections/Probation and Parole, has been able to conduct reentry planning as envisioned by Governor McDonnell’s Virginia Re-Entry
Initiative. Such cooperation has been invaluable in allowing us to plan for
the release of people with mental health issues from both prisons and jails
that are returning to Arlington County.”
Final feedback….
Family member and NAMI representative: “I have been with the MHCJR
Cmte since its inception 10 years ago. I have seen all the stakeholders
evolve from comparative strangers into a closely knit team with a common
goal—to steer persons with SMI into treatment rather than the criminal
justice system.”
“The results speak for themselves..approximately 40% of the Arlington
County Police is now CIT trained and a new grant is helping fund security
for the CIC where police drop off those with a seriously mental illness for
treatment rather than at the jail for incarceration.”
“I’ve observed similar success stories such as the establishment of a drug
court and the introduction of mental health programs for the SMI while in jail
and on probation. None would have occurred without the existence of the
Final word on the partnership…

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