Future I & II: Shifting Policies And Priorities

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Many jails and prisons now are trying to improve their care of prisoners with mental illness in order to adequately perform this assumed responsibility. However, past and current criminal justice policies and state laws too often hamper their ability to do so, sometimes because of a lack of resources or legal restrictions on the type of care they can provide. The Future I & II—Shifting Policies and Priorities Today, our criminal justice system has assumed the responsibility of caring for many of these individuals with mental illness as part of its core function despite having never been designed for the treatment of the mentally ill as a primary medical treatment provider. Some solutions proposed by the 2014 Treatment Advocacy Center and …show more content…

Thus, in order to deal with the enormous influx of mentally ill inmates, criminal justice policymakers and correctional facilities are beginning to shift their focus in priorities and policies to innovative, targeted solutions designed to immediately respond to the present concerns, and address both of the needs that appear on the “front-end” at the point of contact, as well as on the “back-end” with treatment and re-entry reforms. The following are examples of some of these reforms: I. Specialized Training and …show more content…

The training ranges from legal updates and classes on civil and human rights, certifications for officers to become lead homicide investigators, and training in how to respond to the mentally ill; much of the training is conducted by one of 14 operated mobile units, and instruction seminars. During the previous fiscal year, which spanned from July 2014 through June 2015, these units provided about 12,700 hours of training through 189 courses. During that entire time they only had to cancel 14 classes. In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, however, the unit has only conducted 29 courses for a total of about 1,500 hours and canceled 10 classes, and that work has been paid for with reserve funds that will run out by the end of November, when the doors to this essential training will have to

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