Roughly one-third of inmates in California’s jails suffer from serious mental illness. (info via http://www.namica.org)
70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least
20% live with a serious mental illness.
Individuals living with mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, which
do not provide appropriate treatment or supports.
Law enforcement is often the first responder in situations that involve people living with a mental health condition.
California has made significant progress in recent years in training law enforcement to respond
appropriately to situations that involve mental illness, including passage of SB 11 & SB 29 (Beall)
About 2 million American with mental health conditions are admitted to jails each year-most for non-violent crimes.
We should expand on the success of proven diversion models, including mobile crisis teams and
mental health courts.
It is important to encourage partnerships between behavioral health entities, criminal justice/law enforcement, families and consumers.
Law enforcement training and jail diversion programs rely on community partnerships and networks of mental health treatment programs. We encourage training of additional first
responders, including EMTs and dispatchers.
Diversion programs must include treatment and supportive services, such as housing.
Decriminalization of mental illness starts with reducing the high cost of jailing people living with mental illness, by investing in policies and funding to ensure that people receive care in a more
appropriate and supportive setting.