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November 2016

Next Meeting

COMIO's next meeting will include an Issue-Specific Workshop on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM and a full Council Meeting on Thursday, February 2, from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Both meetings will be held at the following location:
Board of Parole Hearing Executive Board Room
1515 K Street, 5th Floor, Suite 550
Sacramento, CA 95814
For the full list of COMIO Meetings for 2017 please click here.


Health Care for the Justice-Involved Addressed in News Article from RAND

Please see this editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle about the need to support health care for the justice-involved returning to communities which reflects much of what COMIO has been advocating for this year and specifically relates to three of our key recommendations:
  1. Support aggressive Medi-Cal enrollment strategies in jails, using assessment and screening tool to identify high need/ high risk populations like those with co-occurring behavioral health issues. Support further analysis and identification of best practices in enrollment.
  2. Eliminate the practice of Medi-Cal terminations for individuals who are incarcerated for more than a year and replace the practice with suspension during incarceration (regardless of length) and exiting incarceration with benefits intact.
  3. Explore the usefulness of a waiver currently requested by New York State that would allow federal Medicaid matching funding to provide care management and other supportive services to incarcerated individuals in the 30 days prior to their release. In California this would aid in supporting the continuity of care transfer from jails and prisons to community-based providers.
November 2nd Council Meeting

On November 2nd the Council met at the State Capitol and discussed the findings and recommendations to be included in COMIO's Annual Legislative Report. Committee chairs presented their respective sections of the recommendations:

Diversion Committee Chair: The Honorable Stephen V. Manley, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge
Training Committee Chair: Jessica Cruz, Executive Director National Alliance on Mental Illness – California
Juvenile Justice Committee Chair: Mack Jenkins, Retired Chief Probation Officer, San Diego County

PowerPoint Presentation is available and a summary of the recommendations can be found here. A motion to approve the recommendations and designate final Annual Report review to committee chairs was passed. A presentation was also given by Hallie Fader-Towe, Senior Policy Advisor for the Council on State Governments Justice (CSG) Center and Deanna Adams, Senior Reentry Fellow for CSG Justice Center and CPOC, regarding updates on the Stepping Up Initiative.

All meeting materials from the November 2, 2016 Council Meeting can be found here.

NOTE: COMIO's 2016 Report to the Legislature will be submitted by the end of December 2016.

Proposition 47: Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act - RFP Released

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) voted to approve release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for funding through the grant program established by the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools act, enacted by Proposition 47. There are $34.36 million in grant funds available for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year and a total of $103,651,000 available over the course of three years. The program is designed to support mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and diversion programs for people in the criminal justice system. It funds public agencies and aims to reduce recidivism of people convicted of less serious crimes and those who have mental health and/or substance abuse issues. Assembly Bill 1056 also included housing-related assistance and community-based supportive services to the grant program. 

For more information about Prop 47 and to view the final RFP, click here.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Grant Program - RFP Released

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the BSCC voted to approve release of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Grant Program. The program is modeled after the LEAD project in Seattle, Washington and the the Pilot Project in California was established by Senate Bill 843. The program is designed to divert low-level drug offenders and those arrested for prostitution to social services rather than prosecuting them.

This is a two-year pilot for which $15 million from the General Fund were appropriated. The grant cycle is expected to run from April 27, 2017 through June 30, 2019 and requires a report of the evaluation findings to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature by January 1, 2020.

For more information about LEAD and to view the final RFP, click here.

Promising Practices

COMIO Best Practices Awards

At the November 2nd meeting, the council presented Best Practices Awards, the recipients are pictured below. California Highway Patrol (CHP) Commissioner, Joe Farrow accepted the Best Practice Award for CHP's Mental Illness Response Program (MIRP) which is responsible for the Crisis Intervention Behavioral Health training to both uniformed and non-uniformed CHP employees. For more information on MIRP, click here.
Pictured Left to Right: Council Member Jessica Cruz, Commissioner Joe Farrow, Secretary Scott Kernan

Dr. Geoff Twitchell accepted the Best Practice Award for San Diego County Probation Department's Trauma Responsive Unit (TRU), which provides evidence-based treatment to youth affected by traumatic experiences. For more information on TRU, click here.
Pictured Left to Right: Council Member Mack Jenkins, Dr. Geoff Twitchell, Secrectary Scott Kernan
Evidence-Based Practices

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) aired a webisode on November 15th through their Knowledge Network for Systems of Care TV (KSOC-TV), on Community Policing and Supporting Youth with Mental Health Needs. The webisode discusses the changing role of law enforcement in addressing youth and young adults with a mental illness and evidenced-based strategies to resolve potentially violent situations in more positive ways. Click here to watch the full webisode.