CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan presents Transitions Clinic Network (TCN) with the Best Practices Award at COMIO’s legislative briefing in November 2017.

The Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH) is pleased to announce the release of their new name and their 16th Annual Report. The report is published each year to provide subject matter expertise and inform policy development by California legislative leaders and external stakeholders.

CCJBH, formerly known as COMIO, was created by the Legislature in 2001 to address growing concerns about the high number of individuals with mental illness who were incarcerated or at risk of incarceration. Chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Council consists of 12 members who represent diverse perspectives from criminal justice and behavioral health systems. To help end the criminalization of individuals with mental illness, the Council has been engaged in efforts to promote early intervention, access to effective treatments, planned re-entry while continuing to preserve public safety.

The 2017 Annual Report examines behavioral health care and the justice-involved, including current promising programs to prevent incarceration and effectively expand the workforce in a cost-effective way. The report discusses the following topics:

  • Behavioral health care and the justice-involved
    • California reforms to the criminal justice system have made behavioral health services a public safety issue
    • Health care reform provides enhanced behavioral health services and supports public safety
    • What can be done to maximize the benefit of behavioral health care for the justice-involved
    • California’s opportunity to design what works for the justice-involved with significant behavioral health challenges
  • Building the capacity of the behavioral health workforce to reduce the incarceration of individuals with behavioral health challenges
  • California counties and promising programs to prevent incarceration

To view the 16th Annual Report visit: https://sites.cdcr.ca.gov/ccjbh/publications/.

Findings and recommendations from the 16th Annual Report were presented on November 7, 2017, at COMIO’s legislative briefing at the State Capitol. At the legislative briefing, COMIO also presented the 2017 Best Practices Award to the Transitions Clinic Network (TCN) and recognized promising programs from Fresno, Orange, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.

TCN was selected for the COMIO 2017 Best Practices Award because their model of service delivery demonstrates collaborative working relationships with community-based organizations, health, and correctional partners that serve individuals who have been incarcerated, commitment to evidence-based practices, monitoring fidelity and measuring outcomes, and dissemination of lessons learned through publications. TCN provides transitional and primary care and case management services. The TCN model uses physicians who have worked with this population and trains and employs formerly incarcerated individuals as community health workers to provide expertise in system navigation while delivering mentorship and emotional support.

To view the PowerPoint presentation given at the legislative briefing by COMIO Executive Officer Stephanie Welch, and other meeting materials, please visit: https://sites.cdcr.ca.gov/ccjbh/comio-legislative-briefing/.

These efforts will continue in 2018 and expand with changes to the Council. As of January 1, 2018, COMIO will be known as the Council on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health (CCJBH), and their scope will include substance use disorder (SUD) treatment as well as treatment for serious mental illness (SMI). Subscribe to their newsletter to stay up to date with new activities for 2018 at https://sites.cdcr.ca.gov/ccjbh/subscribe/.

For additional information or any questions, please contact CCJBH at (916) 445-9306 and for information concerning CDCR, please contact the Office of External Affairs at (916) 445-4950.