Mental Illnesses Treatment Support & Programs NAMI Advocacy Find Your Local NAMI NAMIWalks
Search
 | Print this page | 
 | 
Criminalization

Criminal Justice


Community Programs

Local leaders in many communities around the country are working to keep people with mental illnesses out jails and prisons. While state and federal policies can support these efforts, most lasting change happens at the local level. Strong partnerships are the key to success. NAMI State Organizations and Affiliates are key partners and work closely with police chiefs, sheriffs, judges and other criminal justice leaders as well as with mental health system leaders.

Learn about other local programs making a difference in the criminal justice system:
Prevention - Police and Jail Diversion - Courts - Jails and Prisons - Reentry and Community Support

Reentry and Community Support

  • Re-entry planning. Corrections agencies should coordinate with local and state agencies in the community to ensure prisoners living with mental illness have a plan in place that will ensure they return home successfully. Read NAMIís guide to re-entry planning to learn more.

  • Restoration of Benefits. Many people with serious mental illness rely on Medicaid and SSI for vital health care and income supports, but in most states, these benefits are terminated at arrest. States can change this policy to allow more people to automatically resume benefits on release. Where states terminate benefits, individuals need to plan to reapply for SSI and Medicaid before leaving prison.

  • Specialized probation and parole. In some communities, probation and parole officers are trained to work specifically with people with serious mental illness.

Local Examples

Additional Resources


 | Print this page | 
 | 

Donate

Support NAMI to help millions of Americans who face mental illness every day.

Donate today

Speak Out

Inspire others with your message of hope. Show others they are not alone.

Share your story

Get Involved

Become an advocate. Register on NAMI.org to keep up with NAMI news and events.

Join NAMI Today
  • Follow NAMI
  • Contact Us
    • NAMI
    • 3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100
    • Arlington, Va 22203
    • Main: (703) 524-7600
    • Fax: (703) 524-9094
    • Member Services: (888) 999-6264
    • Helpline: (800) 950-6264