An estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses—almost three-quarters of whom also have substance use disorders—are booked into local jails each year. Thankfully, county officials are increasingly aware that lasting, systemic change is needed to better link people to treatment—all while improving public safety in more effective and fiscally responsible ways.
Recognizing that the critical role local and state officials play in supporting systems change, the National Association of Counties, the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, and The Council of State Governments Justice Center launched The Stepping Up Initiative in May 2015.
Stepping Up is a national movement to provide counties with the tools they need to develop cross-system, data-driven strategies that can lead to measurable reductions in the number of people with mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders in jails.
With support from public and private entities such as, Janssen, Alkermes, Otsuka, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Elizabeth K. Dollard Trust, Stepping Up builds on the many innovative and proven practices being implemented across the country. Visit StepUpTogether.org to learn more.