Criminal justice issues among individuals with mental health and substance use conditions is a growing problem. After the wide deinstitutionalization of state hospitals, jails and prisons have seen an increase in the number and percentage of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions who come through their doors. MHA is dedicated to addressing the many issues states, communities, and criminal justice systems in order to reduce the number of individuals who must needlessly suffer by rotating in and out of jails and prisons. For more information on criminal justice issues, see MHA's policy statements on criminal justice.
Criminal Justice Toolkit
This toolkit is designed to help advocates understand how their state can help reduce recidivism and promote recovery for individuals with mental health and substance use conditions who are involved in the criminal justice system by maintaining health benefits and providing appropriate reentry supports.
- Issue Brief: Benefits for Prisoners with Mental Illness
- Supporting Fact Sheets, Case Studies, and State Legislation
Criminal Justice Webinar
Mental Health America hosted a webinar on Criminal Justice, featuring Jerry Jeffe of the MHA of California and Linda Raines of the MHA of Maryland. The webinar focuses on the benefits for prisoners with mental illnesses leaving prison, and describes ways of using MHA's criminal justice resources for effective advocacy. You may click here to access the recording: Criminal Justice. When you click on this link, you will be asked to register some basic information, after which you'll receive an automatically generated email with instructions for accessing the presentation. That email will come from the account of Sarah Steverman and may take up to 10 minutes to appear in your inbox.
You can download the powerpoint here.