Action Alerts & Updates
2017-2018 County of Santa Barbara Realignment Plan
Letter re: Housing Proposal for CCP funds (August)
Community Corrections Partnership Agenda (April)
2017 Budget for Community Corrections (February)
League of Women Voters Forum - Keeping People with Mental Illness Out of Jail
Letter to Board of Supervisors in support of the Stepping Up Iniaitive (July)
Review of Capital Resources and Behavioral Health Facilities (August)
Board of Supervisors Agenda Letter (August)
Report - Developing a Strategic Planning Proposal for Public Safety Realignment Funding (November)
Minutes - Stepping Up Iniatiative Stakeholder Meeting (November)
Letter to Board of Supervisors in support of Stepping Up Initiative (December)
Stepping Up Resolution (December)
Santa Barbara County Jail Intake Screening Process
Report on Inspection of the Santa Barbara County Jail (April)
Why Are We Still Taking People With Mental Illness to Jail Who Don't Belong There?
June 2016 Letter sent to Board of Supervisors by supporters joining CLUE Action Supporters, and read at Budget Meeting: Click here for PDF.
CLUE SB is requesting funding in the 2016-2018 budget cycle for safe and effective alternatives to jail for those with mental illness who don’t belong there. Our county has made no measurable progress in reducing this jail population. We know funding enough housing, with services and treatment options targeting this population’s needs, is essential. But this is not enough. We need to ensure the budget funding targeted for reducing the number of those with mental illness in jail is producing results. We need a new intervention with ongoing assessment of their needs and community capacity for treatment and services.
This year LA, Merced, Sonoma, and 270 other counties implemented exactly this kind of this intervention. They responded to an action plan that provides an implementation “toolkit” and produces measurable outcomes. The initiative is called STEPPING UP: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails. It is more than a vague promise for reform; it focuses on developing an actionable plan. Click here to read more. County elected officials are being asked to pass a resolution and work with other leaders (e.g., the sheriff, district attorney, treatment providers), and people with mental illnesses on the following six actions:
- Convene a diverse team of leaders and decision makers from multiple agencies committed to safely reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.
- Collect and review numbers and assess individuals’ needs to better identify adults entering jails with mental illnesses and their recidivism risk.
- Examine treatment and service capacity.
- Develop a plan with measurable outcomes that draws on the jail assessment & data and the examination of available treatment & service capacity.
- Implement research-based approaches that advance the plan.
- Create a process to track progress.
March 2016 • What has happened to the ADMHS Revenue?
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County of Santa Barbara Annual Sales & Use Tax Report
Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2004
Attachment: P 3 Graph shows SB County contribution: revenue for Mental Health ovr twelve years prior to 2005. It ranged between $7M - $8M.
2013: The SB County TriWest Report shows “SB County Contribution” to ADMHS Services at $3.14M in 2013.
2. Current County Comparison: in 2013, the TriWest SB County Report (see flyer) shows SB County should be contributing $9M vs $3.14 per year to match the current spending per 1000 population in San Mateo and SLO.
Conclusion: Services for those with mental illness is severely underfunded in SB County and the ADMHS Department needs to be brought to a higher standard of revenue, beginning this year with a minimum of $500,000 additional revenue for housing and treatment. This is the recommendation of the ADMHS Housing and Recovery Action Team and strongly supported by FamiliesACT! and CLUE SB.
County staff and ADMHS staff are already looking at The HEART five-year plan. This plan addresses past failures by creating 1,024 more units through land lease, master lease, and new housing. Initiatives, such as that in Cook County’s Corporation for Supportive housing (CHS), specifically ensure frequent users of jail and mental health services are moved from jail to community alternatives. Consumers would have a new system for access. A yearly performance evaluation encourages ongoing prevention interventions due to accountability for quality service. The plan ensures the County that we would be making the best use of county dollars across the systems including the jail, hospital, shelters, and care facilities.
There is consensus that Santa Barbara County needs to allocate a substantial increase in funding for ADMHS. The Tri-West County ADMHS Assessment Report provided evidence that Santa Barbara County allocates far less for ADMHS than the standard allocation from other comparative County General Fund budgets.
What the BOS has done to raise its own salaries to the standard of surrounding comparable counties, it needs to now do for the ADMHS department, serving the most needy with mental illness living currently on the streets and in our county jail. Economic justice requires no less.
The HEART plan begins with a recommended county investment of $895,000 in 2015-2016. It requires a commitment of additional funds each year until:
- Funding meets the standard of comparable counties
- The increased quantity of housing units closes the current gap
- The quality of ADMHS service meets best practice standards.
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- Mapped gaps and weak linkages and evolved environment in county housing
- Created Housing Development Coordinator
- Pursuing opportunites for in-county housing options
- Opened South County Crisis Residential Program - 8 beds
- Created 6 beds residential + outpatient
Competency resortation for Incompetent to Stand Trials cases
- Created 6 beds for IMD step down in-county
- Colloborating with County Housing Authority to connect units to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder support
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Cook County Frequent Users of Jail and Mental Health Chicago, IL Source: The Coroporation for Supportive Housing
Overview of the Initiative
The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), in close collaboration with the Cook County Sheriff and other public agencies, is leading an initiative to house 120 individuals with intensive wrap-around services from four experienced community mental health agencies. The results of this intervention will be rigorously evaluated by The Urban Institute as part of a National Institute of Justice study, comparing these results to a matched sample group who will not receive these resources using a randomized control design. A comparison will be made as to changes in the experimental group's use of public emergency services, including state psychiatric hospitals, jails, prisons, and emergency health care.
Working closely with Cemak Hospital, Cook County Jail, and the Division of Mental Health - and using enhanced data-matching software designed specifically for this project - research staff will identify the most frequent users of both the Cook County Jail and the Illinois Mental Health System. This data will identify people cycling between both systems that can be identified for the study. Those persons identified and agreeing to be a part of the research will be assigned to either a control group with regular discharge services or will be assigned to the experimental group who will receive additional targeted housing and support services using new resources specific to this initiative.
Target Population This demonstration project is targeted toward people with serious mental illness in Cook County Jail who cycle between jail and incarceration for months or years on end. Specifically, the target population will include people who:
• Have a demonstrated history of repeated homelessness upon discharge from jail;
• Have been engaged by Cermak Health or the Illinois Mental Health system at least four times, and
• Have a diagnosed serious mental illness of schizophrenia, bi-polar, obsessive compulsive or schizo-affective disorder.
Housing Resources One hundred twenty (120) on-going rental housing subsidies are allocated for the project and will be provided to private landlords to set-aside units to house initiative participants and work with the initiative's service providers.
The experimental group will be assigned to one of four mental health partners:
• Thresholds: Illinois' largest private community mental health agency.
• Community Mental Health Council: A mental health provider on the south side of Chicago.
• Trilogy, Inc.: Amental health provider on the north side of Chicago.
• Heartland Health Outreach: A mental health agency specializing in homeless services.
All of the service providers have agreed to:
• Conduct targeted jail in-reach and discharge planning,
• Provide targeted, ongoing rent subsidies to ensure housing affordability,
• Provide sustainable comprehensive mental health and other support services to ensure housing stability, and
• Increase opportunities for employment and self improvement for these frequent users of jail, shelter, and mental health services.
• JEHT Foundation and the Open Society Institute: $820,000 for service enhancements and client assistance.
• CSH's Returning Home Initiative (utilizing funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation): $100,000 for data matching and landlord recruitment, and $185,000 for Cermak case manager and study coordination.
• National Institute of Justice: $400,000 for research performed by The Urban Institute.
• Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Funds City of Chicago Dept of Housing $600,000 per year for 120 long-term rental housing subsidies.
• Illinois Division of Mental Health: Funding amount to be determined for on-going mental health services post-study.
• Total Initiative Funding: $2,105,000
• Cook County Sheriff's Office: Assisting with data integration and coordination of in-reach services.
• Chicago Low Income Trust Fund: Providing 120 rental support subsidies.
• City of Chicago Department of Housing: Coordinating rental assistance and city efforts.
• Cermak Health Services: Providing mental health services and supervision inside the jail facility.
• Illinois Department of Mental Health: Administering and financing on-going mental health services.
• Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Philanthropic investment in re-entry supportive housing.
• JEHT Foundation: Providing seed investment to finance service enhancements.
• Community Service and Mental Health Providers: Provisions of supportive housing in the community.
• The Urban Institute: Conducting a rigorous evaluation of pilot program.
• National Institute of Justice: Providing financing for evaluation.
Partnership between Criminal Justice and Other Public Systems
Cook County Jail and Cermak Health Service have along history of partnerships with the Illinois Division of Mental Health Services. Pilot projects-including the Thresholds Justice Project and the Felony Mental Health Court of Cook County-have received recognition for developing alternatives to the criminal justice system; examining the systematic use of housing as an intervention is a logical extension of previous work.
Managing the Partnership
Responsible for leading this initiative, CSH is involved in planning and implementing all phases of the project. CSH worked closely with The Urban Institute to select the Cook County site after a CSH-financed national evaluability assessment. Once The Urban Institute was selected as the lead partner with CSH on a study funded by the National Institute of Justice, CSH funded an expansion of the data matching software by the Illinois Division of Mental Health. CSH also selected Trilogy, an experienced mental health provider, to work under the supervision of Cermak Health Service to assist with the initial identification of the experimental and control groups and to link the experimental group participants to the four CSH-contracted service partners. In order to help facilitate the participants' access to housing, CSH has also contracted with Catholic Charities to recruit landlords to accept the rental subsidies and set aside units for initiative participants. CSH will also work with The Urban Institute to coordinate data collection and dissemination of research findings.
About CSH and the Returning Home Initiative
The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) is a national non-profit organization and community development financial institution that helps communities create permanent housing with services to prevent and end homelessness. Founded in 1991, CSH advances its mission by providing advocacy, expertise, leadership, and financial resources to make it easier to create and operate supportive housing. CSH seeks to help create an expanded supply of supportive housing for people, including single adults, families with children, and young adults, who have extremely low-incomes, who have disabling conditions, and/or face other significant challenges that place them at On-going risk of homelessness. For information about CSH, please visit www.csh.org
CSH's national Returning Home initiative aims to end the cycle of incarceration and homelessness that thousands of people face by engaging the Criminal justice systems and integrating the efforts of housing, human service, corrections, and other agencies. Returning Home focuses on better serving people with histories of homelessness and incarceration by placing them to supportive housing.
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By Kaellen Hessl July 12, 2015
When the Marion County Reentry Initiative launched in 2010, it had the ambitious goal of cutting the recidivism rate in half over the next five years. In 2015, it received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for doing just that. (Click to read more.)
January 11, 2016
Letter to the Board of Supervisors:
On September 8th, 2015, the Board voted to create a position for and hire a Grievance Coordinator to oversee complaints relating to the provision of health care services coming from inmates. We encourage you to act now on your decision. It will ensure the adequate provision of health services for our friends... CLICK TO READ MORE
Candle Lighting Service instructions
Success in 2013-14
- Awarded a Santa Barbara Foundation Grant to research alternatives to jail for those with mental illness.
- Wrote Report 12/2013: WHY ARE WE STILL TAKING THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS TO JAIL WHO DON’T BELONG THERE? Click here to view report.
- Organized petition to County Supervisors with 800 signatures seeking budget allocations for funding alternatives to jail.
- Organized with Families ACT an action at the April 1 County Board Meeting: (1) presentation of the CLUE SB report and (2) speakers including: clergy and faith members, a mental health client, and families with children with mental illness. Click to read article in The Independent, April 2014: Calls for Treatment Not Incarceration Dominate Tuesday’s Board Hearing.
- Results: Formation of the HEART Action Team within the Mental Health Dept. to develop a report on the countywide need and recommendations for diverse supportive housing plan and budgets for implementation.
Current Campaign 2015-16
- Represent faith communities on the Housing and Recovery Action Team (HEART), collaborating with ADMHS in developing strategic long range planning for housing and increased supportive services for persons with mental illness.
Click here to view HEART's 5 Year Plan Recommendation to ADMHS Department.
- Help HEART research, write policies, recommendations for 2015-16 budget.
- Redirect funding from County Law Enforcement budget for Corizon jail services for mental illness to ADMHS supportive housing.
- Organize faith community action to again support this alternative in the spring 2015 county budget cycle.
CLUE SB advocates for:
- Increased funding for ADMHS to match spending in CA counties similar in population and economy.
Click to view the Tri-West comparison chart |
Click to view full report.
- Funding for services in existing housing to meet HEART recommendations 2015 standards
- Initiating funding for building new housing units. Click here to view the HEART Program and Budget Recommendation.
- Replace jail with supportive housing for the 150 with non-violent mental illness incarcerated daily in SB county. See CLUE December report.
- Implement best practice initiatives like those from Corporation for Supportive Housing (CHS) to achieve the replacement goal.