Law enforcement has increasingly become the primary point of contact for individuals living with mental illness, and the presence of these individuals in jail and prison populations has grown to crisis proportions. This report – developed by the Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) in partnership with the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) – identifies innovative practices that have proven successful in reducing the arrest and incarceration of individuals living with mental illness in jurisdictions across the country. The programs have shown promise in several areas: diverting those who live with mental illness away from the criminal justice system, supporting individuals in the court system, identifying and treating those who have been incarcerated, and helping individuals successfully re-enter their communities after discharge. The report includes case studies of seven jurisdictions and resources developed by law enforcement executives and experts in the field.
Major County Sheriffs of America