Reducing Justice Involvement For People with Mental Illness.

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The Pennsylvania Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence is a collaborative effort of Drexel University and the University of Pittsburgh. It is funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The purpose of the Center is to work with Pennsylvania communities to identify points of interception at which an intervention can be made to prevent individuals with mental illness from entering or penetrating deeper into the criminal justice system.

The Center will work collaboratively with the Commonwealth and locales in planning and implementing programs, providing information to promote their use of evidence-based practices and serve as a resource for technical assistance and training. The Center will also host a central repository for collected data and information on criminal justice/mental health responses throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Click here to view the official announcement of the PA Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence.

News and Information
County and Program Information
Center of Excellence Blog
Resource Center

Upcoming Webinars & Training

Mentoring for Re-entering with WRAP

  • This free one hour webinar will highlight and discuss a new collaborative program between the Copeland Center and One New Heartbeat called Mentoring for Re-entering, which utilizes the evidenced based practice of WRAP Facilitation to engage, support and empower people who have been incarcerated to re-enter community life with wellness and support. Monday, August 10 at 2pm EST. To register, click here.

Battered Women's Justice Project Webinar: Veterans Treatment Courts and Domestic Violence

  • The Battered Women's Justice Project announces a webinar on Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) and Domestic Violence. The webinar will take place on August 14, 2015 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (Central Time). Click here to register.

Social Media in Community Supervision: Promising Practices for Policy and Implementation

  • The National Reentry Resource Center and the American Probation and Parole Association are hosting a webinar on Wednesday, August 19, from 2 – 3:30 EST. This webinar will share emerging research regarding the importance of establishing policies around the use of social media by community corrections administrators, managers and supervisors including the administration of social media content; setting expectations for appropriate employee personal use; and investigation and supervision standards. Click here to register.

Peer Support and Innovative Prison Reentry Program

  • SAMHSA's GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation and the Association of State Correctional Administrators are pleased to announce a two-part webinar series focusing on the successful and innovative use of peers and peer support in state correctional facilities. Part 1 of the series is on August 20, 2015 from 3-4:30 (EST) and part 2 is on September 11, 2015 at the same time. Click here to register.

Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance For Vets Who Have Lost Their Way

  • The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) will be conducting a live-streaming internet broadcast on justice-involved veterans, highlighting the lifesaving role being played by veterans treatment courts across the country. The three-hour broadcast titled "Veterans Treatment Courts: A Second Chance for Vets Who Have Lost Their Way," will be aired live on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 (12 -3pm EST). Register here for this live-streaming broadcast.

23rd Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference in December, 2015

  • The Forensic Rights and Treatment conference has a call-out for papers. Click here to see the instructions for submitting a proposal.

Mental Health and Criminal Justice in the News

WRAP has a new website address

From Patients to Prisoners (PennLive series, July 2015)

  • During the week of 7/20-24/15, PennLive offered a series of articles entitled “From Patience to Prisoners.” We have saved several of the articles for your reference and they are available here.

Police officer mental health training bill becomes law

  • On July 13, 2015 the PLS reporter noted that Gov. Wolf signed into law a bill that would require police officers going through MPOTEC to be trained on how to interact with those suffering from mental health issues. The bill--now Act 25 of 2015--was sponsored by Rep. Tom Caltagirone (D-Berks), and is a concept that has been around for a number of sessions. The legislation leaves it up to MPOTEC to fill out the specifics on the type of training officers will receive.

Click here to find information by county including descriptive data (e.g. crime & mental health stats) and contact information for county agencies.

Click here to find program information by intercept.

Looking to have questions answered or to discuss issues with your peers in other counties? Our blog will give you the opportunity to initiate conversations with the Center of Excellence staff and your peers.

Click here to view our blog or start a conversation!

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