The Judicial and Criminal Justice Perspective
A Judicial and Criminal Justice Perspective
- In the criminal justice systems, 76% of inmates with mental health issues reported substance use.
- Untreated, co-occurring disorders are a strong predictor of recidivism for the criminal justice system.
- An estimated 60% of families of children in the child welfare system have substance use problems. At least one-half of those have a diagnosed a co-occurring mental illness.
- In 2013, Tennessee had approximately 8,200 children and adolescents in state custody. Prevalence data tells us that approximately 2,500 of the families in the state's foster care system are impacted by substance use and mental health disorders.
- Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders have a negative impact on health, relationships, safety, employment and education and pose a greater challenge in maintaining recovery or resiliency than those with a single diagnosis.
Ways you can contribute to initiating change to reduce the impact of co-occurring disorders.
Support Enhanced Treatment
- Support a "no wrong door" community-based integrated treatment approach where the presence of co-occurring disorders is considered an expectation rather than an exception. Regardless of where an individual goes for treatment, they will be able to get the help they need.
- Support routine co-occurring disorders screenings and treatment referrals for individuals entering the criminal justice system and the development of adequate treatment options and resources that have been shown to be effective.
Effective Behavioral Healthcare Treatment Options
- Be an advocate by encouraging your public policy-makers to pass laws which focus on a variety of treatment options including, but not limited to, inpatient and outpatient care, supportive housing, and peer-to-peer support as these treatment techniques provide the best possible opportunity for recovery.
- Initiate conversations and efforts that provide your local community the resources to manage these diseases and the support to maintain life-long recovery.
- Support and encourage the expansion of capacity for an integrated system of care to treat both mental health and addictions issues.
- Initiate conversations that encourage routine co-occurring disorder screening and referral for the treatment needs of individuals entering the criminal justice system and the development of adequate treatment resources that have been shown to be effective.
Advocate for Awareness and Education on the Impact of Co-Occurring Disorders
- Be an advocate for local community partnerships with their community-based behavioral health agencies and advocacy organizations in educating and bringing about awareness of co-occurring disorders and their impact on local communities.
- Be an advocate for enhanced training and education for judicial and criminal justice personnel and developing an awareness of the needs of individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders.
- Be an advocate for incentives for employers to offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and access to effective treatment programs for employees and their families experiencing co-occurring disorders.