Justice Related Services
Support for men and women with
- mental illness and/or
- substance use disorders and
- who are involved with the criminal justice system
- during and following court proceedings
- during and following incarceration
to promote successful transition back into the community and reduce the likelihood of returning to incarceration by providing access to
- recovery-oriented programs
Since being established in 2000, the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative, consisting of the Allegheny County Jail, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and the Allegheny County Health Department developed a plan to implement a countywide reintegration approach that takes into account the needs of inmates both during and after incarceration. That plan laid the foundation for the extensive array of Justice Related Services now available to reduce the involvement of persons with mental illness and/or substance use disorders in the criminal justice system.
Justice Related Services include:
- Crisis Intervention Teams
- Trains law enforcement officers and emergency services personnel about the characteristics of mental disorders, a variety of de-escalation skills, how to conduct a suicide lethality assessment, and information about common psychotropic medications. The goal of CIT is to promote safety for the distressed person, the law enforcement officers and the public and to direct the individual toward obtaining behavioral health services and supports instead of incarceration.
- Justice Related Diversion Services
- An array of supports to assist persons with mental illness and/or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder who encounter the criminal justice system.
- Justice Related Support Services
- Provides case management for all persons with mental illness referred from the point of formal arraignment to the time of sentencing. Support services are continued for up to 60 days after release from the Allegheny County Jail or for 60 days after sentencing.
- Allegheny County Mental Health Court
- Designed to promote community-based mental health treatment in lieu of incarceration for persons with mental illness who have been charged with a misdemeanor and/or non-violent felony in Allegheny County.
- Allegheny County Drug Court
- Designed to engage users of illegal drugs who are involved in the criminal justice system in an intensive drug treatment program as an alternative to incarceration to help them become drug-free and return to a productive lifestyle.
- Allegheny County Justice Related State Support (Max Out) Program
- Provides case management for persons with mental illness referred from the Department of Corrections at the expiration of a maximum prison sentence. The OBH Justice Related State Support service coordinator continues to assist the individual for up to 90 days after release from the State Correctional Institution.
- Incarcerated Support
- Additional support from various organizations for those who are, or have been, incarcerated and their families.
Behavioral Health Justice-Related Services and Beyond
Drug and Alcohol Services for Adults involved with the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas
This DHS webpage outlines for Court staff the steps defendants would take to obtain substance use services/treatment in Allegheny County.
Justice Related Services Manual for Replication
The Allegheny County Justice-Related State Support Services (JRSS) is specifically for persons with mental illness or co-occurring disorders who have completed their maximum state prison sentences. This manual was created to inform and assist other communities that may be interested in replicating similar re-entry efforts. 2009
Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation
Devoted to understanding and communicating the losses children experience when their parents are arrested and incarcerated.
PBS FRONTLINE: The Released
April 28, 2009 at 9:00 p.m. - watch on TV and online
The Allegheny County Mental Health Court has been improving lives since 2001. PBS FRONTLINE will examine the lives of former prisoners with serious mental illness in Ohio who were released into their communities with minimal prescribed supports. Our Mental Health Court, with its formal process of supporting former inmates throughout their reintegration, will be presented as a life-changing alternative for one of those individuals who made his way to Allegheny County.
Reentry Myth-Buster Fact Sheets
These myth-buster fact sheets were created by the Federal Interagency Reentry Council to clarify existing federal policies that affect formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. Topics include child welfare, publicly funded benefits and employment.
Which Way Out Conference 2007
National conference held in November 2007 that highlighted Allegheny County's efforts to divert persons with mental illness from the criminal justice system. View presentations given over the three-day event.