Stepping Up Initiative
Stepping Up, an unprecedented national collaboration designed to reduce the number of people with a mental illness in jail through appropriate treatment and prevention services, was introduced in May 2015 by The National Association of Counties (NAC), the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, and the American Psychiatric Foundation (APF). An Oakland County Stepping Up resolution in support of this effort was presented by BOC member, Shelley Taub, and passed with a unanimous vote on January 20, 2016.
According to national statistics provided by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, once incarcerated, people with mental illnesses tend to stay longer in jail and are at higher risk of re-arrest than individuals without these illnesses. Jails also spend two to three times more on people with mental illnesses than they do on people without this health disorder. Anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of a county’s budget goes toward costs associated with jails.