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Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) Meeting on Tue, March 7, 2017 - 10:30 AM

Meeting Agenda: 


Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council



March 7th, 2017

10:30am – 12:00pm



  1. Review and approve CJCC meeting minutes; Dec. 13th, 2016 and Jan. 30th, 2017


  2. Presentation on the Stepping UP Initiative - Rise Haneberg, Council of State Governments Justice Center


  3. Health Leadership Team update - Sarah Plinsky


  4. Behavioral Health Court update - Sharon Zehr


  5. Pretrial Release Program update - Michelle  Roberts


  6. My Resource Connection - Bob Tryanski


  7. Sheriff’s Office Staff/Recruiting - Sheriff McGovern


  8. Sub Group updates - Bieniecki


  9. New business/discussion


  10. Next meeting May 9th, 2017 at 11:00am. 


Meeting Location: 
County Courthouse
Street Address: 
1100 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS 66044, USA
Meeting Minutes: 

March 7, 2017

Douglas County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Meeting (CJCC)

County Commissioner Mike Gaughan, chair, called the regular meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

Those in attendance included: Mike Gaughan; David Johnson, Susan Hadl, Bob Tryanski, Shaye L. Downing, Chief Khatib, Pam Weigand, Chuck Epp, Leslie Soden and Charles Branson. Ex-Officio members included: Craig Weinaug, Michelle Roberts and Mike Brouwer. Also attending from the KU School of Social Welfare assisting the meeting Margaret Severson and Jason Matejkowski; and County Commissioners Nancy Thellman, and Michelle Derusseau; and  Robert Bieniecki, CJCC Coordinator.

Rise Haneberg, Senior Policy Advisor with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, spoke to the CJCC about the six questions county leaders need to ask regarding public safety. The Stepping Up program is a national initiative aimed to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail. In the general population, 5% have mental illness. In the jail population, 17% have serious mental illness and 72% have a co-occurring substance use disorders. Haneberg said they know if a county is positioned to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jail by asking the following six key questions:
 -Is your leadership committed?
 -Do you have timely screening and assessment?
 -Do you have baseline data?
 -Have you conducted a comprehensive process analysis and service inventory?
 -Have you prioritized policy, practice and funding?
 -And, do you track progress?

According to Haneberg, Douglas County is farther along with this issue than most counties. Douglas County as a leadership commitment from the County Commission, with a representative planning team (CJCC) with a mission statement, designated project coordinator and planning process, with a data analyzer all working together with department leaders and management. The next step is improving screening and assessment of people with serious mental illnesses in order to reduce recidivism rate. The recommended real-time date to establish the number of people with mental illnesses in jail should be determined by a clinical assessment for serious mental illness by a licensed mental health professional in the jail. Those screened with mental illness should have a follow-up assessment within 72 hours. The information should be recorded electronically so it can be tracked and reported regularly. Those identified with a mental illness should be flagged in order to track their connection to care. Once you have baseline data, strategies must focus on four outcomes: reduce the number of people with mental illness booked into jail; shorten the length of stay; decrease the percentage of people connected to the right services and support; and lower the rates of recidivism. Douglas County is implementing co-responders who have been successful in Johnson County. Areas to track include prevalence rate of mental illness in jail populations, length of time people with mental illness stay in jail; connection to community based treatment, services and support; and recidivism rates.

Gaughan moved to approve the minutes from 12/13/16 and 01/30/17. Motion was seconded by Pam Weigand and it carried.

Sarah Plinsky, Assistant County Administrator, stated the County Commissioners will receive an updated at the County Commission meeting on Wednesday, March 1. Staff was asked to look at population data and the needs behind crisis services. The County Commission in February approved a position for a Director of Behavior Health Projects. Since last summer the Health Leadership Team has sought data and feedback from local partners including Bert Nash, LMH, DCCCA, Healthcare Access, Heartland Community Health, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Heartland Great Act, Sheriff Reentry Program, Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority, private providers and made visits to several crisis facilities.

What we know so far is we need an effective integrated solution. No single organization can solve these challenges. Some needs and gaps in the services we provide are more immediate and benefit from proximity to other services in the community. Some services are being met outside our community relatively well. Regardless of what we do, an expansion of outpatient and case management services will be needed for a full continuum of care in the community after crisis.

In conversations with LMH and Bert Nash, we began to explore immediate strategies that could be put in place to serve existing clients inside the emergency room with immediate needs. What was presented was unused space in LMH to expand crisis stabilization inside the hospital. Work teams have been formed with about 30 community agencies to continue our work on this. There has been focus on the facility, care inside the facility, case management, what happens upon release, the next layer of addiction and how those services integrate. 
This effort to expand is exciting though there are still identified gaps in care. We will continue to monitor data. We will continue to quantify existing outpatient needs, after release and needed additional support. This involves operating expenses and capital. We need to add to the conversation expanding housing for the mentally ill in the community and what is needed to support that.

Sharon Zehr, Bert Nash, stated the Behavior Health Court is up and running. There have been 18 referrals since January. The application is on the Douglas County website.  Referrals usually come from defense attorneys. There are currently three participants. They are reviewing each case carefully to make sure the risk is not high for violence as well as meeting criteria and finding a good fit to be successful. The applicant has to want to participate, as the program is voluntary. Nine applicants were rejected because of risk of violence. There are six pending referrals that will be reviewed next week. They are looking at more incentives to put in place such as gift cards and tangible incentives.
Robert Bieniecki, CJCC Coordinator, stated the target date for the program was March 1. Currently the focus is on policy. The practices and matrix are done.  There has been a collaborative effort with the District Attorney and Shaye Downing, to move this forward.   They are meeting again Thursday, March 9 to discuss modifications to the bond. Bieniecki said the group is really getting close to taking the program to the judges for review. Dr. Beck provided a concise document we can show to people to understand the program. There are approximately 20 offenders currently out on the bond supervision program. The court services officers are currently working on a list of prospects to interview. 

Bob Tryanski introduced a new idea to the council, My Resource Connection. Tryanski stated Johnson County has a community resource and platform that ties to the community linking all the services, agencies and resources available for substance abuse, mental health and housing.  It allows community members to go to one place to learn about what is available.

Bieniecki stated the core four counties, Johnson, Wyandotte, Jackson and KCMO, would share their information with us at no cost. Stakeholders would have to elect to share their information due to HIPPA laws. An example of how this would benefit is if a case manager sees a history of domestic violence they may elect to meet somewhere in the community other than in the home. Information Technology has reviewed the information and it would take minimal time for our staff. Chris Schneweis, Senior Management Analyst with Johnson County, will make a presentation to the County Commission at the 4 p.m. meeting on April 19. Bieniecki invited the council to attend.

Bieniecki clarified we would partner with the four counties and their system, but we would have our own program.

Sheriff McGovern gave an update on his office recruiting status. He recently hired three officers. Eleven sites were targeted to recruit including military bases. He is struggling to get people in for many reasons. It takes five months before an employ is eligible to enter the training academy, and then they spend 2-3 months in the academy. Youth Services and LPD are having the same issues. There are seven vacancies at the jail. McGovern said he starts new hire staff as a correction officer. After two years, they can be promoted to deputy. Once promoted, they can work in the jail, operations side or court security. Typically once an employee reaches the deputy stage, he doesn’t lose them. It’s the younger recruits that are not interested in a good benefit package; they want more money.   

Robert Bieniecki stated:
 -Alternative group for incarceration met and decided to evaluate the programs we have in place now and put measures in place to study.
 -Jail group looking at data on disproportionate population will meet next at the jail with the booking lieutenant. Conference call with Lori Fridell who teaches officers, gave recommendations on studies.

Bob Tryanski stated he received communication from Justice Matters and declined the invitation to attend the Nehemiah Assembly.  He suggested inviting them to the next CJCC meeting to open dialogue as some of the information members are receiving is inaccurate.    


• Next Meeting: Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 11:00 a.m., in the County Commission Chamber

Gaughan moved to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Hadl and carried.