Plus, recent stories from the PRA blog!
Plus, recent stories from the PRA blog!
March PRA eNews

Introducing Policy Research Associates' Refined and Expanded Values and Guiding Principles

PRA logo ascending and resolving
Policy Research Associates was formed in 1987 in the spirit of the mission "Creating positive social change for people and communities through technical assistance, research, and training." In 2020 we decided to expound on our established values of "Doing good work, at a fun place, with a hard-working bunch, to make an impact." This values message highlighted our company culture and lightly touched on what we bring to our work, but it did not capture the full breadth of how we operate. In concert, we decided to state our guiding principles so that our partners, collaborators, and employees know exactly what we stand for and how we approach our work. Developing a comprehensive set of values and guiding principles took many iterations and much thoughtful input from an inclusive group of PRA staff. After many rounds of review, deliberate discussion, editing, and internal comment to integrate and honor a wide range of perspectives, we are proud to release our values and guiding principles to the field.
Our values and guiding principles intentionally and comprehensively address our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; highlight our business goals; and underscore our company culture. They ground us in how we approach our work, the work that we take on, and how we interact with each other inside and outside of the organization. We are proud to share them with you and look forward to practicing what we preach to continue to create positive social change. 
Read PRA's Values and Guiding Principles

Publication Rerelease: Practical Advice on Jail Diversion

The cover of Practical Advice on Jail Diversion
PRA is rereleasing Practical Advice on Jail Diversion to the field as a reference document. Originally published in 2007, this resource offers actionable information on what jail diversion is, why it makes sense as an approach to reducing the over-incarceration of people with behavioral health needs, and how to adopt or adapt a program for the local landscape. Professionals in the criminal justice and behavioral health fields and interested community members can use this resource to learn to design, plan, implement, and evaluate a successful jail diversion program. The topics addressed by this publication include the following:
  • What jail diversion programs are and why to develop one
  • Guidance on making jail diversion happen in your community
  • Planning for program sustainability
  • Data collection and program evaluation
The 2021 release of Practical Advice on Jail Diversion is for reference purposes only. The document has been re-branded to allow for broad distribution to the field, but the content has not been updated from the 2007 publication. Readers should view this publication as a reference resource.
Access the Publication

NCYOJ Joint Release with CHDI: Children's Behavioral Health and Implementation of the School Responder Model 

Children’s Behavioral Health and Implementation of the School Responder Model
The National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice (NCYOJ) recently released a joint publication with the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (CHDI). Children's Behavioral Health and Implementation of the School Responder Model is intended to help schools and communities meet the behavioral health needs of students while reducing youth involvement in the juvenile justice system. The publication offers information on implementing a school responder model (SRM) as part of a multi-tiered system of support.
An SRM is a framework that addresses youth behavioral health needs in response to school infractions. This framework is an alternative to exclusionary discipline and to law enforcement response, which are often the first step into the pathway to the juvenile justice system for youth with behavioral health conditions. Children's Behavioral Health and Implementation of the School Responder Model explores how an SRM's implementation as part of a multi-tiered system of support can maximize the effort's effectiveness and sustainability.
Access the Document

Article with PRA Author Selected for Psychiatric Services' Editor's Choice

This month, Psychiatric Services assembled the Homelessness, Part 1 collection for its Editor's Choice series. The collection highlighted the article "An Evaluation of SOAR: Implementation and Outcomes of an Effort to Improve Access to SSI and SSDI," with contributing author PRA Vice President Kristin Lupfer, M.S.W., and co-authors Jacqueline Kauff, M.S.W.; Elizabeth Clary, M.A.; and Pamela Fischer, Ph.D. The article examines how technical assistance (TA) from the SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) TA Center influences the outcomes of SSI/SSDI application processes.
Psychiatric Services' Editor's Choice is a monthly thematic collection of articles that summarize the latest developments and foundational research in the field. The full Homelessness, Part 1 collection highlights several studies and commentaries that explore unique challenges and solutions to addressing homelessness, particularly for people with mental illness.
View the Article

Open Solicitations Roundup

The Law Enforcement Training in Collaborative Crisis Response

Deadline: April 2, 2021
U.S. law enforcement agencies are invited to apply to participate in the Law Enforcement Training in Collaborative Crisis Response. This training program is part of a larger initiative supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Academic Training to Inform Police Responses: A National Curriculum to Enhance Police Engagement with People with Behavioral Health Issues and Developmental Disabilities. This initiative is designed to enhance, implement, and evaluate crisis response training for law enforcement and first responders. Additionally, this initiative seeks to assist communities in their development of collaborative crisis response programs, with a specific focus on addressing the needs of individuals with behavioral health disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Selected agencies will be supported in their planning for the development and delivery of a collaborative crisis response program for their community and receive assistance with planning, delivering, and evaluating this training. For more information, access the solicitation and application below, or contact Project Coordinator Nikole Metz at or 703-647-7266. 
View the Solicitation
Access the Application

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge Expansion: The IMPACT Network 

Deadline: April 12, 2021
Policy Research, Inc. (PRI) is soliciting applications from communities interested in participating in a minimum year-long (approximately May 2021-May 2022) behavioral health and criminal justice-focused expansion of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC): the IMPACT Network. The IMPACT Network expansion will engage both a group of current SJC sites and up to eight communities not receiving SJC funding to maximize what SJC sites have learned about how to accelerate behavioral health reform and diversion across the criminal justice system, with an emphasis on local jails, and with a commitment to pursue community-driven race-conscious solutions to reduce harm to populations overrepresented in, or disparately impacted by, the criminal justice system.
In addition to specific technical assistance provided by PRI and other national experts and SJC partners, IMPACT Network jurisdictions will engage in a learning community through a series of virtual convenings with a group of diverse sites also implementing systemic behavioral health and criminal justice reforms. 
To learn more about the request for applications and IMPACT Network SJC expansion, access the solicitation details or register below to join the informational webinar on Monday, March 29, from 12-1 p.m. ET.
View Solicitation Details
Register for the March 29 Webinar

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