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Report Confirms Too Many Living with Mental Illness Entering Criminal Justice Facilities

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, sponsored by the Council of Governments, authored a ground-breaking report that addressed strategies for addressing the needs of people with mental illness incarcerated in the criminal justice system or at risk of becoming entangled with law enforcement.  Recently, the Consensus Project released a new advocacy handbook that provides advocates the needed tools to implement the recommendations put forward by the 2002 report. 

NAMI encourages advocates to use this advocacy handbook in working within your state mental health system.  Grading the States demonstrated that criminal justice systems remain the default mental health system in many states.  There are certainly pockets of success and reasons for optimism in different areas of the country:  Thresholds in Chicago, CIT in Memphis, and judicial leadership in Ohio.  However, innovation remains the exception.  Grading the States provides advocates a strong platform from to advocate for change.

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