Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
January 14, 2020
11:00 am - 12:30 p.m.
Meeting at Douglas COunty Fairgrounds, Flory Building
1. Review and approve CJCC meeting minutes from November 12, 2019
– Pam Weigand
2. Behavioral Health Court Evaluation – Margaret Severson and Jason Matejkowski
3. Discussion about how we staff/utilize work groups – Mike Brouwer
4. Work Groups – Mike Brouwer
a. Incarceration Alternatives
b. Law Enforcement Contact Study
c. Stepping Up Initiative
d. Mobile Crisis Response Team
e. CIT Council
5. Final meeting for Edith Guffey, comments and thank you
6. New Business
7. Public comment
Next Meeting: Tuesday, March 10th, 2020, 11:00-12:00, Flory Building
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Meeting
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Attendance included: Judge Miller, Judge McCabria, Gary Bunting, Charles Branson, Mike Pattrick, Chris Keary, Gregory Burns, Pam Weigand, Patrick Schmitz, Lori Alvarado, Commissioner Derusseau, Jennifer Ananda, Sarah Plinsky, Mike Brouwer, Bob Tryanski, Melinda Zilliox, Shaye L. Downing, Chuck Epp, Sarah Jane Russell, Edith Guffey, Tamara Cash, Judge Porkorny. Also in attendance: Jason Matejkowski, Margaret Severson, Robert Bieniecki and Matt Cravens.
Patrick Schmitz moved to approve the minutes for November 12, 2019. Motion was seconded by Chuck Epp and carried.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COURT EVALUATION- Margaret Severson and Jason Matejkowski provided the results of Initial Performance Measures and Comparative Outcomes of the Douglas County Behavioral Health (BH) Court Summary and Recommendations dated January 14, 2020. Two separate analysis were conducted: 1) benchmarking based on performance measures recommended by the National Center for State Courts for BH Court; and 2) a preliminary test comparing those who participated in the BH Court to those who were referred to the BH court but did not participate. Results indicated those who participated in the BH Court were associated with a reduction of jail days and an increase in jail stays. Those with an increase in length of stay could be linked to those who did not participate in the program.
The study also covered Psychiatric Inpatient (IP) events, which were rare and determined little difference in length of stays. Within the BH group, the pre-post reduction in average IP days was significant.
1) Reducing the amount of time between originating office and referral to the BH Court.
2) Reducing the length of time between referral and admission decision.
One and two focused on the time it took between committing the offense and being referred to BH Court. The process average about 5.5 months. Half of those referred to BH Court took four months. It was determined BH Court may not have any control over reducing that time frame due to relying on receiving police reports used by the District Attorney and the time needed to locate and schedule mental health appointments along with releases to receive the mental health information.
3) Reduce frequency of sanctions for substance use. Substance abuse outnumbered all other sanctions combined. The BH Court may have been serving people with a higher percentage of substance abuse rather than mental health issues, which were primary. The suggestion was to serve the right people by conducting a formal substance abuse evaluation within the BH Court eligibility screening process and refer those people with substance abuse to Drug Court. Also, focus on therapeutic responses rather than sanctions during their initial 90 days.
4) Reduce reliance on severe sanctions. Over use of sanctions can result in avoidance. Sanctions are not as effective as incentives.
5) Increase the ratio of incentives to sanctions. The suggestion of administering tickets for showing up to health services, appointments, or court was more effective than severe sanctions. The tickets would be used for prize drawings.
6) Improve treatment and interventions targeting criminogenic needs to prevent new offenses by using the following central eight risk factors: History of antisocial behavior; Antisocial personality pattern; Antisocial associates; Antisocial cognitions; School and/or work; Family and/or marital; Substance abuse; Leisure and/or recreation, as predictive criminal behavior. Those who scored high should receive a full-needs assessment to identify the extent of their criminogenic needs and develop treatment plans for those specific needs.
7) Reduce jail days associated with sanctions. The recommendation was to keep a person stable while waiting for housing or treatment beds and try not to use jail as a ‘safe place’ option until other housing is available. The County’s expansion of treatment and supportive housing options may help in combination with other recommendations provided. Only extend incarceration past sanction once an imminent risk has been established by a trained physician.
8) Reduce inpatient stays. The recommendation was to use more prevention techniques with stepping-up case management, peer support, and intensive outpatient mental health programs along with recommendation #3 above.
9) Reduce time to termination. The average stay for those who terminated the program was 267 days (or 9.5 months) in the BH Court program. The recommendation was for the court to take a deep dive into the case history of individuals and environmental behavioral predictors of termination and use that info to make better decisions on whether to continue or terminate clients from BH Court.
10) Establish methods to promote data monitoring and quality. The study recommended the court utilize the data base and identify someone to be in charge of entering data and training team members into the data base, and use that data to continue to evaluate ongoing enhancements to the BH Court.
The evaluation summary stated the goal of the Behavioral Health Court is to improve public safety by reducing recidivism in Douglas County for those with serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders, by connecting them with necessary and appropriate community support services. The conclusion was that the BH Court met the objectives. There was evidence that indicated there was a reduction in jail days and psych hospital stays, even though some participants’ criminogenic needs may have been too high and/or addiction may have been their primary disorder. The BH Court Team is strong and committed though enhancements are still needed along with benchmarks to assess ongoing performance. At this point, it is too early to determine whether to continue or discontinue the BH Court.
• Could there be more success by implementing ACE scores and race information that might contribute to modifying the needs we are meeting. The response was a suggestion that the court could do a better job of accessing and then linking results of the assessments to care plans and services. The model does attempt to account for cultural influences. The court should evaluate and determine if outcomes are achieved equitably across the board.
• Does the Court offer a second chance to those who were terminated from the program? Can they come back to the system with new charges? The response was though that situation has not come up, there is a possibility to re-engage in BH Court depending upon the circumstances.
• Just because someone disengaged from BH Court does not mean that person disengaged from all BH services. If they do disengage from Bert Nash services, there is an outreach program to help them reengage.
• For those who terminated the program, is there a recommendation or plan to follow up? Response: The study did look at the recidivism rate six months after termination from the court. They returned to the standard justice process. It is worth accessing.
• It was asked if the BH Court, Drug Court and other interventions target the disproportionate number of people with color in the jail. Matejkowski responded that the percentage of African American population in the jail is about 20%, which is the same percentage participating in the BH Court. It was reiterated that this study comes from a very small sample size.
• The national graduation rate from BH Court is 50%.
• Some people in the BH Court failed because it was later determined they had a substance abuse disorder, rather than a BH issue. Some have both. Kansas only has one treatment facility that deals with co-disorders. Also, 28 days is the normal amount covered for addiction treatment and not enough time for people with a chronic addiction.
• Regarding the jail option: There are those people in the community that would die before they could get into treatment and do not have supportive housing. It is not ideal, but for them jail is a safe place.
• As services expand in the community along with assisted outpatient treatment, supportive housing is a critical element that needs addressed, more so than employment.
• Though the community offers a number of services, there is the component of noncompliance. This is about human life and human choice. Where is the line? Some in the community do not want to hear about people going to jail, but do you leave people who are injecting drugs down by the river to die? Many agencies are faced with this. Do we intervene until there is another optimal option?
DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW WE STAFF/UTILIZE WORK GROUPS – Mike Brouwer
There are several programs the CJCC needs to review and it cannot all be done at this table. The best approach is to split into groups to do the work. Either the CJCC member will serve or appoint a staff member to the work group. Below is an update on each group task and members:
1) CIT Council: The task of this group is to produce training that is reflective of what programs Douglas County has available. The Chair is Sgt. James Druen of the KUPD. There are over 40 members from all law enforcement agencies to human services agencies and community groups.
2) Racial and Ethnic Disparities for Justice Involved: This group is tasked with reviewing the LEO Contact Study, County Justice Peer Learning Network and identifying training. Members include Jennifer Ananda, Chief Burns, Commissioner Derusseau, Charles Epp and Edith Guffey.
3) Incarceration Alternatives. The task of this group is research and implementation of the Step-down Housing and Enhanced Diversion program. The Chair is Claudia Fisher with Criminal Justice Services. Members include Lori Alvarado, Chris Coleman, Susan Hadl, Judge Miller, Cpt. Wes Houk and would like to add defense council, a community member and someone from the Johnson County Residential Center.
4) Mobile Crisis Response Team: This group is tasked with researching on how to implement a 24-hour Crisis Line, Substance Abuse Crisis Pre-LE Intervention and Post Crisis Support.
5) Stepping Up Initiative: The task for this group is to complete a Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM), review the CSG Report and prioritize recommendations. The Chair is Paul Leffinwell with Bert Nash. Members include Sandra Dixon, Susan Hadl, Ryan Halsted, Cpt. Wes Houk, Ed Lobdell, Nicole Rials, Bob Tryanski, Shannon Yound and Sharon Zehr.
More discussion on these work groups will follow at the March meeting. Members of the community with specialty knowledge are welcome to participate in these work groups.
FINAL MEETING WITH EDITH GUFFEY/COMMENTS/THANK YOU.
Edith Guffey made farewell comments to the Council. She suggested the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stephens as being relevant to the work this group is doing. She said it is easy to let things fall off the radar. The Council cannot see everyone’s perspective. Her hope is that the group will use voices from the community members in their search for answers. Guffey said specifically the group needs to learn to talk about race. She said she is supportive of the work this group is doing.
NEW BUSINESS/DISCUSSION – None.
Joanne Harader, Justice Matters, stated with the proposed jail expansion there were plans for a Step-down unit and this committee was charged to come to the County Commission with recommendations. She asked about timeline for this conversation.
Brouwer responded recently had conversations with Judge Kittel before her last day. Kittel said she wanted to make clear as a judge she didn’t feel comfortable with this group voting and making recommendations in regards to criminal justice services/programs.
Plinsky stated we talked about this recently at a County Commission meeting. The intent for the council is not to present a formal recommendation or proposal, but to study the options available, to look at capital support and all buildings and facilities to support various options to incarceration.
• Next Meeting: March 10, 2020. Location: Flory Building at Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Weigand adjourned the meeting.