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INSIDE: Improving racial equity in five communities; Prosecutor Magazine highlights Propelling Change campaign; and more  

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December 2023 | Edited by Aisha Jamil

Welcome back to the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative newsletter, your monthly source for news, events, resources, and more. 


Improving Outcomes for People Who Are “Familiar Faces” in Georgia and New Mexico 

Nationally, a small population of individuals frequently come into contact with law enforcement, jails, courts, crisis response, emergency departments, homeless services, and other behavioral health systems. These individuals, referred to as “familiar faces,” often have complex behavioral health needs that no single local system or program adequately addresses. From 2021 to 2023, the States Supporting Familiar Faces (SSFF) Project supported two states, Georgia and New Mexico, in reorienting funding and policies to strengthen local data-driven efforts to improve outcomes for familiar faces. This report synthesizes findings from the efforts in both states, while two case studies explore the work in New Mexico and Georgia separately.   


📍 Site Snapshot

How Five Communities Are Working to Advance Racial Equity

Across the U.S., many cities and counties have committed to advancing racial equity in their justice, crisis, and behavioral health systems. This web article from The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center highlights five counties engaging in this work by investing in efforts such as enhanced pretrial services and alternatives to incarceration to reduce system inequities. 

🗣 In Case You Missed It

CSG Justice Center Experts Pen Article in Prosecutor Magazine

This October, CSG Justice Center behavioral health policy experts, Rachel Lee and Katie Herman, were featured in the National District Attorneys Association’s Prosecutor Magazine. Their article explains the ways that the national prosecutor call to action, Propelling Change, can help local prosecutor offices foster connections to community-based treatment for people with behavioral health needs. 

📍 Site Visits

Miami Model Site Visits

The city of Miami recently released the next dates for guided visits of their jail diversion programs, competency restoration alternatives, Assisted Outpatient Treatment program, peer specialist initiative, and the new one-stop Miami Center for Mental Health and Recovery. Hosted by Judge Steve Leifman, co-chair of the Judges and Psychiatrists Leadership Initiative, these visits will run for 2 days with 30 slots available.  

📅 January 18–19, 2024, and February 29–March 1, 2024

For more information about applying to join these visits, contact Rick Schwermer at [email protected].  


Engaging and Leveraging Community-Based Organizations in Your Crisis Systems 

Hosted by the CSG Justice Center and BJA

📅 December 19, 2023 

⏰ 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET 

Counseling Approaches to Promote Recovery from Problematic Substance Use and Related Issues Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series No. 65 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 

Criminal Justice Learning Collaboratives 


Deadline: January 12, 2024 

Mapping Community Resources 

Center for Justice Innovation 


297 Missourians in Jail Await Mental Health Evaluations 


Cities Know the Way Police Respond to Mental Crisis Calls Needs to Change. But How? 


Indiana Supreme Court Takes on Behavioral Health Crisis, Uptick in Caseload 

—Indiana Capital Chronicle 

Judge Hears Arguments on Audio Hearings for People Facing Involuntary Commitment 


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