Stepping Up Initiative
The Stepping Up Initiative in our county:
The number of people with mental illness in U.S. jails has reached crisis levels. In counties across the nation, jails now have more people with mental illnesses than in their psychiatric hospitals.
El Dorado County’s Vision, Mission established.
Mission: To reduce the negative impact of incarceration on people with mental illnesses who have potentially committed an offense, by preventing their unnecessary booking into jail.
Vision: Improve Lives while ensuring public safety.
Beliefs: 1) Offenders with a history of mental illness should be treated with compassion 2) People with mental illness should be supported in the jail system through a continnum of care 3) Jails are the worst place to treat people who are mentally ill 4) Jails have a negative impact on people with mental illness 5) Jails should be reserved for those whose incarceration best serves the public need
Some perspective/ideas have been shared with Brian Richart, Chief Probation Officer leading this initiative. Judge Kingsbury is the Executive Sponsor for this initiative with full support of the Board of Supervisors. We look forward to sharing a plan for a plan and short-term goals in our next issue. This is an agenda item at the 28-Feb 5 p.m. Behavioral Health Commission meeting.