On September 27, 2012 The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center released a report, Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery. Studies have shown that jails and prisons are often the dumping ground for people with a mental illness. The past year has seen a rash of multiple-murders committed by individuals who allegedly were mentally ill. The most notorious of the murderers did not have a criminal background, and most mentally ill individuals are not violent, but the heinous crimes gave rise to a call for more effective mental health evaluation and treatment for incarcerated individuals and also for those reentering their communities after release from prison.
In the CSG press release for the report, Denise O’Donnell, Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance states, “There are large numbers of individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders cycling through our prisons and jails.” According to O’Donnell and CSG, Adults with Behavioral Health Needs Under Correctional Supervision is a useful tool for looking at evidence-based recidivism-reduction strategies and “what works to address mental health and substance use disorders to promote the right people getting the right integrated interventions at the right times.”
The CSG report is directed at policymakers, system administrators, and front-line service providers working with reentrants on probation or returning to their communities.