Stepping Up Pennsylvania: Findings and Recommendations from the Behavioral Health-Criminal Justice State Policy Scan Project
Across the country, communities struggle to address the high number of people with serious mental illnesses (SMI) cycling through their local criminal justice systems. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center partnered with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency’s (PCCD) Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee to conduct a statewide policy scan. The purpose of the scan was to identify opportunities for the state to help counties continue to reduce the number of people with SMI in local criminal justice systems—especially county jails. CSG Justice Center staff made recommendations rooted in research and best practices with proposed action items.
These recommendations focus on three priority areas:
- Improving local capacity to collect data and share information,
- Increasing local diversion as early as possible, and
- Increasing local availability of and connections to housing.