News and Announcements
- Detroit police working to de-escalate confrontations with the mentally ill (Bridge Michigan)
Mitigating COVID-19 in Jails Toolkit featured in Grand Challenges for Social Work
The Center for Behavioral Health Justice (CBHJ) at the Wayne State University (WSU) School of Social Work, in collaboration with the WSU School of Medicine and supported by the Michigan Justice Fund, has released a toolkit of key strategies for Michigan’s jails to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities. This toolkit documents barriers and successes in Wayne County, where the CBHJ and the School of Medicine worked with county and state leadership to develop strategies to around testing, contact tracing, information sharing, and discharge planning. While decarceration has been a widely used to mitigate COVID-19 in correctional facilities, the strategies articulated in this toolkit promote smart decarceration. Amidst national data showing that incarceration settings have prevalence and mortality rates five times the general population, accounting for 80 percent of the largest COVID-19 outbreaks (surpassing nursing homes and food processing plants), the Wayne County Jail was able to reduce their COVID-19 positive rate to 1% by the beginning of August.
- CBHJ in the News (The Appeal) Coronavirus in Jails and Prisons
- CBHJ in the News (Police 1) Lessons learned from implementing a co-response police-mental health team
- CBHJ in the News (BWW News) Indianapolis Recorder to Host Virtual Roundtable “The Voices of Recovery: Celebrating Connections”
- Social Work Grand Challenges features CBHJ's work promoting smart decarceration.
- CBHJ In the News (Second Wave Michigan) - Leading the nation, Michigan’s Opioid Treatment Ecosystems save lives through holistic model
- CBHJ In the News (ProPublica Illinois) - A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention.
- CBHJ In the News (LegalNews.com) - In youth justice, anti-COVID-19 methods could also work in the future
CBHJ In the News (Detroit Free Press) - To protect crime victims, support jail reform | Opinion
When asked what county jails are for, the average Michigander will likely say “public safety.” So might the average lawmaker. Jails are there to protect the community, right? Before the Michigan Jails Task Force released its report earlier this year, it wasn’t well known that tens of thousands of people were jailed in our state for driving on a suspended license or for unpaid tickets, fees, and child support. It wasn’t well known that rural counties in our state were outpacing Wayne and Kent Counties in jail population and seeing extremely high rates of serious mental illness among those jailed. Somewhere along the way, as Michigan’s jails tripled in size, their purpose got muddled. They became a tool for debt collection. A tool for responding to homelessness, mental illness, and addiction.
CBHJ in the News (Spartan News Room) - Opioid treatment in jails needs 3 drugs, experts say
LANSING — County officials, medical professionals and the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice will meet through an online summit May 5 to discuss their experiences with the Opioid Treatment Ecosystem (OTE) program in county jails.
- CBHJ In the News (9&10 News) - Northern Michigan Counties ‘Stepping Up’ to Help Those Struggling with Mental Illness
CBHJ in the News (Ionia Sentinel-Standard): Prisoners with mental illness don't belong in county jail, report says.
Individuals with severe mental illnesses are more likely to be sentenced to jail and were more likely to experience reincarceration, especially for petty crimes, according to Wayne State University’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. The criminal justice system needs to change how it handles mental health, the report said. The Wayne State center reports 23% of people entering Michigan jails had a serious mental illness. The rate went up to 34% in rural jails.
CBHJ in the News (MLIVE): Fewer driver’s license suspensions, more mental health diversions among 18 ideas from jail task force
Michigan’s jails are getting more crowded, and many people currently serving time are either there too long or would be better served by an alternative to jail, a task force that’s been studying jail data in Michigan over the last several months has concluded.
- CBHJ in the News (Grand Haven Tribune): The next frontier of criminal justice reform: County jails
CBHJ in the News (Detroit Legal News): Too many people are locked up for too long at too high a cost
David Guenthner, Mackinac Center for Public Policy Michigan’s crime rate presently sits at a 50-year low and its prison population at a 20-year low. So it should follow that the state’s jail population also should be declining, as it has nationally since 2008. Instead, Michigan’s jail population has tripled since the 1980s — with no sign of abating. In Michigan, the Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice found that 23 percent of jail inmates suffered from serious mental illness and that figure surged to 34 percent in rural counties.
The next frontier of criminal justice reform: County jails (The Hill)
"In Michigan, the Wayne State University Center for Behavioral Health and Justice found that 23 percent of jail inmates suffered from serious mental illness and that figure surged to 34 percent in rural counties. Putting them behind bars doesn’t make them any better, and in many cases makes them worse. The cost is massive. The Wayne State study found that individuals with serious mental illness spent twice as many days in jail as those without."
CBHJ Director Brad Ray interviewed by Filter Magazine on increasing Fentanyl-Meath deaths in Indiana
'[R]esearchers still don’t know whether people are primarily knowingly combining fentanyl and methamphetamine as “speedballs,” or if the drugs they purchase are adulterated without their knowledge. “We don’t have a good answer yet,” said Bradley Ray, director of Wayne State University’s Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. “We don’t know how often fentanyl is being mixed with methamphetamine, or if people are intentionally taking both drugs together.”'
- Addressing mental health is key to improving criminal justice system
- Social Work Dean Kubiak discusses mental health policies, reforms in MI and the impact on county jails
Reentry Podcast Highlights Transition Out of Incarceration
While We Were Away is a podcast by formerly incarcerated people highlighting their transition out of incarceration.