Plus, recent stories from the PRA blog!
Plus, recent stories from the PRA blog!
August PRA eNews
Maryland Governor Signs Bill into Law Establishing Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence
In November 2020, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center hosted the State Summit on Behavioral Health and the Justice System in coordination with the Commission to Study Mental and Behavioral Health in Maryland, led by Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. This state-level strategic planning workshop was designed to inform the work of the state’s Public Safety and Judicial System and Crisis Services subcommittees and to guide targeted legislative appropriations for crisis services and jail diversion.
As a result of this statewide strategic planning workshop, Senator Katie Fry Hester and Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk, with support from Lieutenant Governor Rutherford, introduced Senate Bill 857/House Bill 1280. This legislation establishes a Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence. The Center of Excellence will support Maryland communities in reducing the incarceration of individuals with behavioral health needs and providing linkages to treatment. On April 8, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 857/House Bill 1280, and on April 13, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed the bill into law. The Behavioral Health and Public Safety Center of Excellence will be housed within the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services. 
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Enhancing Equity: Resources

Policy Research’s work is rooted in transforming services and systems for individuals and communities through research, technical assistance, training, and policy evaluation. Our work spans the country and honors the diversity of the people we serve. A key piece of that work is recognizing the impact of historical trauma and institutionalized racism.
We have assembled resources from our projects to help stakeholders advance equity in their services and create positive social change. The tools highlighted below range from graphic recordings and webinars to articles and tools.
Developing an Equity Lens in Criminal Justice Practices [Article]: This SAMHSAs GAINS Center article by Dr. Anjali Nandi examines criminogenic needs and criminal thinking and offers suggestions to encourage the adoption of an equity-informed lens. An accompanying Self-Reflection Tool allows users to explore how their agency can become more equitable.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Throughout the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health [Graphic recording notes]: This panel discussion, hosted by Policy Research, Inc., explores how criminal justice and behavioral health systems can incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion into their practices and systems. This discussion was made possible with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge.
Leveraging the Sequential Intercept Model to Address DEI [Article]: This article from SAMHSA’s GAINS Center explores how agencies can examine their services through an equity lens throughout each intercept of the Sequential Intercept Model.
Improving Equity and Inclusion in SOAR Programs [Webinar]: This webinar from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center addressed barriers to equity in SOAR implementation and presented strategies to overcome them.
The Medical Summary Report: A Deep Dive for SOAR Providers [Webinar]: This webinar from the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center provides guidance to SOAR practitioners on how to write culturally aware Medical Summary Reports that reduce implicit bias.
Supporting the Mental Health and Treatment Needs of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness During COVID-19 [Webinar]: This webinar from SAMHSA’s Homeless and Housing Resource Center offers equitable and culturally appropriate interventions to engage people experiencing homelessness in treatment and deliver services in non-congregate settings.
Cultural Activation Training Series [Webinar]: This five-part training series explores cultural activation, a process in which an individual is empowered to share their cultural identity to inform and enhance their behavioral health treatment.

Upcoming Webinars

Culturally Relevant Approaches to Support Native American People Who Are Justice Involved

September 2, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ET; SAMHSA’s GAINS Center
This webinar will present information about tailoring programming to the cultural needs of specific tribes, inter-tribal communities, and other Indigenous groups within the context of the complex relationships between historic and intergenerational trauma, mental and substance use disorders, and criminal justice involvement.

Crisis Response for Rural Communities: Using Technology and Peer Support to Meet People in Crisis, Where They Are

September 16, 2021, 12:30 p.m. ET; BJAs Academic Training to Inform Police Responses Initiative
Rural communities can face many challenges developing and delivering crisis response programs for people with behavioral health conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities, including wide geographic areas to serve, limitations in options for local treatment and social services, and resource constraints related to funding and staffing. Across the United States, rural communities have adapted best practices in crisis response to overcome these challenges and address the need for services in their jurisdictions by having mental health providers meet people in crisis where they are, either in person or through telehealth services. These programs can prevent the need for additional resources, such as police and emergency medical services, to respond to individuals in crisis and may enhance short- and long-term outcomes for these individuals. 
Presented by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA) Academic Training to Inform Police Responses Initiative, this webinar will feature two programs that have adapted crisis response for use in rural communities. Panelists will present the innovative approaches in crisis response implemented by their programs and discuss the challenges of ensuring the needs of individuals in crisis who live in rural communities are met. Additionally, the Academic Training project team will highlight key resources to support rural communities developing and implementing crisis response in their jurisdictions. 

PRA in the News

2021 Justice & Recovery Conference

September 1–2, 2021; Online
Joining the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse’s Justice & Recovery virtual conference? Join PRA staff at the following sessions:
  • Sequential Intercept Model (Chan Noether)
  • Supporting People with Mental Illness in the Criminal Justice System (Melissa Stein)
  • Trauma-Informed Court Approaches for Judges, Court Staff, and Providers (Lisa Callahan)

PRA in the News

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