Michigan Mental Health Diversion Council (MMHDC)
The Michigan Mental Health Diversion Council was created in the Michigan Department of Community Health to advise and assist in the implementation of the Diversion Action Plan and provide recommendations for statutory, contractual, or procedural changes to improve the diversion of individuals with mental illness from the criminal justice system. As part of these efforts, jail diversion pilot programs were launched from 2014 – 2016 within the following communities.
The Center for Behavioral Health and Justice has served as consultants and evaluators on the pilot programs since 2015. Center staff regularly collaborate with local community mental health and law enforcement stakeholders within pilot counties to assist in the development, implementation and improvement of diversion programming across the sequential intercept model. Services include the evaluation of pilot programs, the provision of relevant and timely data findings and recommendations to support pilot counties and the Diversion Council in data-driven decision-making, identification and recommendation of best practices, and the identification of state-level policy and practice improvements.
Jail Diversion Research:
Stepping Up Technical Assistance
Stepping Up is a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails and is the result of a collaboration between the National Association of Counties, The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation. Since 2015, over 433 counties across the country have committed to Stepping Up to reduce the number of individuals with mental illness in jails.
Within Michigan, a total of 21 counties endorsed the initiative through 2018. While local support for Stepping Up is strong, communities often lack sufficient data and technical expertise to effectively engage in the cross-system, outcome-oriented planning necessary to move forward with the initiative. Specifically, local stakeholders often struggle with insufficient data to properly identify the target population and implement the appropriate system-wide response; to select and implement appropriate evidence-based interventions; and to develop a sustainable system to track and monitor impact.
To assist Michigan counties in achieving the objectives of Stepping Up, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is providing the services and expertise of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice to provide technical assistance to those counties that have endorsed the Stepping Up initiative.
View the Stepping Up Technical Assistance Report: Data Outcomes and Technical Assistance Processes Across Five Stepping Up Counties, May 2020.