Status Update on Data Subcommittee Activities
COMMITTEE ON TREATMENT OF PERSONS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
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02:17 PM -- Status Update on Data Subcommittee Activities
Peggy Heil, MICJS Task Force member as the representative of the Department of Public Safety, provided an information packet (Attachment E) to the committee about the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance Second Chance Act Statewide Adult Recidivism Reduction Strategic Planning Program Grant. She stated that the first key collaborator steering committee meeting was held on March 14, 2016. She reviewed the background and process for applying for the grant and how the task force became involved. She discussed issues related to recidivism, increased percentages of jail detainees with mental illness, and psychotropic medication disruptions as individuals transfer between systems. Ms. Heil discussed the identified need to plan a statewide electronic justice and health information sharing system to improve continuity of care and to reduce recidivism of individuals with mental illness.
Camille Harding, MICJS Task Force co-chair and Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, reviewed the Succinct Summary of 2015 Focus Group Responses (Attachment F). She stated that the focus groups were conducted through a partnership with the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, and the task force. Ms. Harding stated that the focus groups were conducted by phone. She stated that there was limited participation of eastern plains and no input from the health providers within the criminal justice organizations. In response to a question, Ms. Harding discussed why certain providers were not contacted for the focus groups. The committee dialogued with Ms. Harding about involving smaller counties and other various criminal justice organizations in future endeavors.
Ms. Harding discussed the findings regarding the screenings that occur in criminal justice entities. She stated that very few criminal justice entities are currently using a standardized means of detecting inmates with mental and behavioral health issues. She said that most criminal justice entities conduct suicide risk assessments. Ms. Harding discussed the difficulties for jail staff in obtaining diagnoses and medication records from other entities. She reviewed the finding of the focus group research related to mental health treatment provided through the criminal justice entities. Ms. Heil answered questions about what happens in situations when a criminal justice entity is lacking health care providers. Ms. Heil discussed a survey that was sent out through the County Sheriffs of Colorado association to determine who the providers of certain health-related services are for the various county jails. Ms. Heil said that the survey results could possible be made available to the committee.
Ms. Harding discussed the focus group results concerning the attitudes towards the proposed health information exchange, which were mainly positive. She discussed the focus group results concerning the definition of "serious mental illness." Ms. Harding answered questions about the varying definitions of "serious mental illness" used by different entities. She responded to questions related to medication consistency throughout various criminal justice entities. Ms. Harding and Ms. Heil responded to additional questions about issues that can arise from different entities using definitions of "serious mental illness." Representative Lee discussed the need for a standardized screening tool for serious mental illness. In response to a question, Ms. Harding discussed some of the screening tools that are used in Colorado and the need for additional research regarding screening tools. Committee discussion about law enforcement training regarding the handling of persons with mental illness occurred.
Ms. Harding answered questions about jail-based behavioral health services. Senator Newell discussed a possible research request on national information about definition for "serious mental illness" and the various screening tools for mental illness. Ms. Harding outlined the future directions listed in Attachment F for using the information gathered through the focus groups.
Ms. Heil stated that the planning grant has been awarded for one year. She discussed the timeline for accessing implementation funds and the information exchange that could result if the implementation grant funds are received. Ms. Heil referenced the subcommittees that are involved in the planning grant structure. In response to a previous question, Ms. Heil discussed how medication consistency issues can arise when a person transfers facilities. She discussed the work of the medication consistency workgroup that the Behavioral Health Transformation Council formed. Ms. Heil referenced the other materials in the information packet she provided the committee.