Massivedynamic.co
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

An article published by the Great Bend Tribune brought attention to a problem that is occurring nationwide. It involves a crisis team looking into jail overcrowding due to the wrong placement and conviction of people with mental health issues. They are not criminals but often jailed for minor offenses which creates overcrowding. Instead of being sent to a mental health treatment center or being provided resources to help with their mental issues, they sit in jail. Some are brought in on minor charges such as disturbing the public or being in places they were asked to leave from. They have not necessarily committed a crime but still are sent to jail until they can be transferred somewhere if need be or released. This problem has been brought to the attention of many in the county of Great Bend and a conference is being held at The Center for Counseling and Consultation to talk about solving the issue of overcrowding related to mental health issues.

Dr. Tom Bauer, MD, a retired internist, and Julie Kramp, executive director at The Center, have brought people together to create a solution for this growing problem. “We’re trying to put together a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) for Barton and hopefully surrounding counties” says Kramp. With this team they are hoping it will help reduce the estimated 10% of jail populations that are not supposed to be in jail due to mental health issues. The team will take on offenders struggling with mental health issues and properly place them where need be, instead of keeping them in jail and using up limited resources. With this large of a percentage being in jail for the wrong reasons it is causing a backup for release and overcrowding in facilities. Now more than two dozen community leaders are involved in creating the Great Bend/Barton Crisis Intervention Task Force and they are hopeful they will bring about this necessary change to keep people struggling with mental illness out of jail and placing them in the right facility they need. 

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

After discovering that 24 adolescent girls were being confined to buildings with fire risks, holes in the walls, mold and water damage, Nebraska authorities have moved them to another facility. The girls were living in the Geneva Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, a rural central Nebraska state-run facility for female juvenile offenders. The inhabitants, ranging from ages 14-18, were sent to the facility as a last resort by the court. Many of them have significant behavioral and mental health problems.

Four state legislators visited the campus unannounced and outlined decrepit circumstances in several of the four campus houses. “It was far worse than I could have imagined,” said Omaha’s Sen. Sara Howard, chair of the Legislature Health and Human Services Committee. Alarming conditions were discovered at the facility, like something from a horror story. When lawmakers toured the campus they discovered girls confined to empty rooms with nothing to occupy them, rooms without working lights, doors without handles, and one girl was even sleeping on a bed frame without a mattress. At least one girl has found sharp metal inside the holes in the wall and cut herself. Some of the girls even claimed to have been locked in their rooms for up to five days at a time. Several of the rooms had water damage, causing mold and mildew, which can cause serious health risks.

In one building, the mechanism that opens doors when a fire occurs was damaged, meaning if a fire were to happen, the girls would be trapped in their rooms and the doors would have to be individually opened by staff members. Howard said that some of the teenagers used a broom and an electrical cord as weapons and proceeded to barricade themselves into a room with a phone. They called the child abuse hotline, local law enforcement, and their parents before staff were able to defuse the situation. “This is an awful scenario for a place, that five or six years agowas running like a top,” Sen. Howard said. “It’s like we just decided to stop making an investment in these kids.”

There were many shortages of staff in the facility, leaving employees to work very long hours. With such a lack of staff availability, there were very limited programming options and activities for the girls in the facility. In a facility meant to be focused on rehabilitation, programming is a necessity, as is a comfortable and safe environment. “I was frankly dumbfounded by the conditions,” said the inspector general of child welfare, Julie Rogers. “It is one thing to hear allegations of a deteriorated facility. But it’s another thing to see those conditions.”

Danette Smith, the CEO of DHHS, promises that they, in combination with the Administrative Services Department, are committed to restoring the facility and creating rehabilitation programming that works and is reliable. “Our goal is a smooth transition to help the girls acclimate to their routine, which includes school, mental health support, structured activities and recreation. We hope to enhance programming and treatment, and provide an environment that is safe, supportive, and gives youth the opportunity to thrive as they transition from the YRTCs into a successful adulthood.”

The girls have been moved into the YRTC facility for boys in Kearny, and will be secluded from them and will have separate programming times so that they do not interact with the young men.

This relocation ensures that the girls will receive the rehabilitation, care, and programming that they require, while in a safe and positive environment. The relocation will enable the Department of Administrative Services to evaluate the necessary repairs and upgrades to the buildings in the facility and refurbish them. Smith stressed that her biggest concern is ensuring that the facility will be a clean, healthy and safe environment for the girls.

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

In the past decade, more and more people have struggled with mental health issues, including depression and thoughts of suicide. Some people struggle with this when recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, as it alters their behavioral and mental health. In a report done by the Behavioral Health Barometer United States, Volume 5, that was prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, statistics were provided regarding mental health issues in U.S. youth and adult citizens.

All ages can struggle with their mental health and in turn this can affect everything in one’s life. Among youth aged 12-17 in the U.S. in 2017, 13.3% (3.2 million) had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. A large percental of the youth demographic sought recovery help with 41.5% (1.3 million) receiving depression care in the past year. Among young adults aged 18-25 in the U.S. in 2017, 10.5% (3.5 million) had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year and 7.5% (2.5 million) had a serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year. Lastly, among adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. in 2017, 4.3% (10.6 million) had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. Suicide rates have only increased in recent years causing more people to seek to raise awareness surrounding mental health issues and erase the stigma that seeking help is weak and unacceptable.

Many people do not always perceive themselves as having a mental health issue and therefore do not seek help, which can be problematic. TRACKtech.LLC is committed to helping change the behavioral and mental health of program members in the hopes of helping them recover. With access to behavioral health resources and programs, the TRACKphone can provide daily reinforcement and positive messages, calendar reminders for appointments and meetings, and a constant support system if needed. Mental health is an important issue effecting millions of Americans and it’s important to continue to provide supportive systems that encourage people to seek help.

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States (46.6 million) suffer from a mental illness in a given year. In the jail population, this is even more prevalent, as these people are not receiving the care they need. There is an estimated 2 million mentally ill individuals being booked into jails each year. The jail population is five times more likely than the general population to experience a serious mental illness and eight times more likely to suffer from substance abuse. A staggering 68% of the jail population has a diagnosable substance abuse disorder, however many of them do not receive the proper treatment they require.

Jails are not conducive to treating these serious illnesses and addictions. Within two weeks after being released, those with serious substance abuse are 40 times more likely to die from an overdose than those in the general population. Instead of incarcerating these people struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders, public health options should be available for adequate treatment. Evidence-based substance abuse treatment and medical care has been proven to prevent criminal justice involvement at all. Access to essential treatment for substance abuse has been proven to reduce violent and financially motivated crimes.

Many reforms are being implemented by counties across the country to ensure that those with substance abuse disorders and mental health illnesses are provided proper care and preventative programs. Crisis intervention teams are programs that are designed to divert those with mental illnesses from the criminal justice system and into proper treatment. A group of police officers partake in special health training in order to properly evaluate the signs of a mental illness, treat the individual, and deescalate situations. This program is proving to be very effective in helping those with mental health disorders to receive treatment rather than jail time. Police mental health co-responder teams are also proving to be effective. Rather than the police being specifically trained, mental health professionals assist the police while they are interacting with someone showing signs of a mental health crisis.

There is also the option to establish mental health and drug courts that can serve as an alternative to incarceration. Multidisciplinary teams of judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, social workers, and professional mental health service providers work together in specialized courts to assist individuals in treatment and connect them with the proper services.

TRACKtech can provide individuals dealing with substance abuse and mental illness in a multitude of ways. There is an array of behavioral assessments available through the TRACKphoneLite app and the TRACKphone, and rehabilitative support can be specifically targeted to best suit the program member. The program member can also be assisted in finding local community support groups or rehabilitative services. By utilizing this automated rehabilitation platform, therapy expenses can be reduced by nearly 50%.

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Many citizens, in the United States and the other worldly countries, struggle with alcohol dependency. In the United States, alcohol is the most frequently used and misused substance according to the Behavioral Health Barometer United Sates, Volume 5. This report was prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, providing data and statistics regarding alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health issues that the general population of the United States incur. The data collected surveyed persons over the age of 12, including underage youth and young adults.

Alcohol has become a very wide-spread form of self-medication and is consumed in many social situations. However, this can quickly turn from a social event to a life-long dependency that impacts your behavioral and physical health. Among U.S. youth aged 12-17 in 2017, 5.3% (1.3 million) reported binge drinking in the past month. More and more youth are starting to experiment with alcohol at younger ages, as access to it becomes more easily available. Among young adults aged 18-25 in the U.S. in 2017, 36.9% (12.7 million) reported binge drinking in the past month. Of this 36.9%, 10% (3.4 million) had an alcohol use disorder in the past year. Surrounding the social stigma of drinking and socializing, more and more young adults increase their dependency on alcohol use. Lastly, among people aged 12 and older in the U.S. in 2017, 5.3% (14.5 million) had an alcohol use disorder in the past year.

As consuming alcohol increases, people give way to it controlling their lives. While intoxicated, they may be inclined to commit crimes, engage in physical violence, and disobey the law. As a result, they can be sentenced, having to await trial in jail or on bail, or potentially be placed on probation, as alcohol abuse is often considered a low-offense crime.

TRACKtech. LLC can provide solutions to several of these consequences. With the TRACKphone always being present on the program member (the offender on probation), supervisors are able to keep track of them through GPS location monitoring, frequently check-ins and hold remote meetings through biometric verification and video-conferencing. As well, they can provide resources regarding alcohol abuse and rehabilitative programs that help support the behavioral health of the program member. With all of these resources, it provides the program member more responsibility for their life and those that surround them, in the hopes of keeping them on their path to recovery and out the criminal justice system.

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Many citizens, in the United States and other worldly countries, struggle with an addiction and dependency on substances. According to the Behavioral Health Barometer United Sates, Volume 5, the two most frequently used substances in the U.S. are marijuana and cigarettes, however prescription drugs and other hallucinogenic drugs are becoming increasingly popular. A report prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, provided data statistics regarding alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health issues that the general population of the U.S. face. The data collected surveys citizens over the age of 12, including youth and young adults.

As substances become more heavily abused, an individual’s mental and physical health become more endangering to themselves and others. More and more youth and young adults are developing addictions to substances, which can impact the rest of their lives negatively. Among youth aged 12-17 in the U.S. in 2017, 7.9% (2 million) used illicit drugs in the past month. Of the 7.9%, 1.5% reported misusing psychotherapeutic prescription drugs and another 1.35% reported misusing inhalants, hallucinogens, cocaine or heroin. It is an increasing problem that young children have access to behavior altering drugs that are very strong and endangering. Among young adults aged 18-25 in the U.S. in 2017, 14.8% (5.1 million) had a substance use disorder in the past year. As substance use becomes more popular on college campuses, students experiment more and get swept up in misusing drugs. Among people aged 12 or older in the U.S. in 2017, 7.2% (19.7 million) had a substance use disorder in the past year. As people experiment and abuse substances, their risk perceptions are altered and lower, according to the survey, as they do not see overdosing or using the substances as endangering as they are.

With using hallucinate and behavior altering substances, people can have the tendency to commit crimes due to behavioral changes or to pay for the drugs. This can land them in the criminal justice system which then most likely gives way to a trial resulting in some prison time, parole or probation.

TRACKtech. LLC is committed to helping change substance abuse of those entering society, helping reduce recidivism. With the TRACKphone, supervisors are able to locate program members (the offenders) through GPS location monitoring and frequently check-in or establish remote meetings through video-conferencing. This can ensure contact with the program members, providing a support system to help keep them in a healthy and active behavioral state. Different resources and programs are also provided by TRACKtech, in the hopes of helping people stay on their path to recovery and keep control of their lives through supportive means.

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

With September being the dedicated month to recovery, people are raising awareness about recovery issues and the many hardships endured every minute of one’s recovery path. A national report was conducted about alcohol and substance abuse, as well as mental health issues. The data, according to the Behavioral Health Barometer United States, Volume 5, outlines the abuse of different substances and treatments in populations of any person over the age of 12, including youth and young adults.

National Recovery Month is a time for people to come together and support one another who have struggled with the same or similar addictions as they have. As addictions, abuse and mental health issues are more openly discussed, removing the stigma, people are more inclined to seek treatment. In 2017 in a single day, 1.4 million people in the U.S. were enrolled in a substance use treatment program. Of this 1.4 million seeking treatment, 37% had both a drug and alcohol addiction, 47.7% had a drug problem only and 15.6% only had an alcohol problem. It is difficult and time consuming for people to seek treatment, as it can be considered almost a defeat by the substance. Though, more people though are accepting that they are struggling with the abuse of a substance or mental issues and realize they need to seek treatment. People are more inclined to seek treatment and start their road to recovery if they feel supported and have better access to resources and programs.

TRACKtech. LLC is able to help those on probation or parole who are recovering from substance abuse or a mental health illness. The TRACKphone provides resources and programs to support recovering addicts and those struggling with a mental illness by keeping them in a more rehabilitative and supportive environment. It also eases the case workers job by monitoring the location of the program member and establishing boundaries to keep them on their path to recovery. As well, it provides supervisors with the ability to check-in remotely and video conference with the program member through biometric verification. TRACKtech was created to observe, predict, and influence by working together to support people’s roads to recovery and providing the guidance they need to do this.

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

A recent article published by the Justice Center The Council of State Governments discusses the recently signed Assembly Bill 236 by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. It is a “Justice Reinvestment bill that aims to rebalance the use of criminal justice resources and invest in strategies that reduce recidivism, support law enforcement, and expand access to behavioral health services.” The legislation hopes the bill will “avert 63% of projected growth in prison populations over the next decade, saving taxpayers $543 million.” As prison populations continue to increase, many people who enter the Nevada prisons are convicted of low-level, nonviolent drug or property crimes. However, once in the prison system, there is a lack of appropriate behavioral health interventions. There is a significant gap in services for people who are struggling with substance addictions and/or mental illnesses. 

Rebalancing criminal justice resources is necessary and beneficial to an inmate’s health. This legislation is aiming to target interventions and services for people with behavioral health needs. TRACKtech, LLC is taking the approach of working to help inmates as they reenter society with their behavioral health needs by providing support and access to resources. These resources help to rehabilitate program members effectively and provide outlets for seeking help. Working with case managers, TRACKtech offers extensive support to help program members improve their behavioral health issues and mental illnesses. We encourage others to follow this lead as it is a significant problem the world population faces, in and out of the prison system. 

0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
The National Alliance of Mental Illness Tri Cities in Washington is scheduled to host a discussion about their “Lourdes Prosecutorial Diversion” program. The program provides another option for law enforcement officers in dealing with low-level, non-violent offenders with symptoms of mental illness. It has been in effect for three years, and it identifies inmates with behavioral health conditions in Benton and Franklin County Jails, particularly where competence issues arise. The vast majority of those with mental health issues are less likely than anyone else to be violent, criminal, or dangerous. According to a study published by American Psychological Association of Crimes committed by those with a mental illness, only 7.5% were directly related to symptoms of a mental disorder. People with mental illnesses are not inherently prone to crime, but for those who have persistent illnesses that are chronic and have reoccurring flare ups that impact their judgement, they may do things they normally would not, such as shoplifting or trespassing.

Jail is not a place conducive to mental health treatment. The program is in effect to engage these patients with treatment so they can return to a functioning and coherent state. Upon completion of the program, which can span from six months to a year, the inmate’s charges will be dropped if they are low level crimes. The inmate will also receive resources such as housing and medical treatment.

A large majority of these inmates are charged for trespassing. Adriana Mercado, the Care Coordinator for the program, states that trespassing is very common because these individuals are symptomatic, or they haven’t been on the proper medications. “It’s really rewarding to get somebody into a home and see that change of behavior” as 50 inmates have successfully finished the program. According to Mercado, the recurrence rate has dropped substantially among these inmates.

The program collaborates with the crisis response and in-patient unit, Transitions, to determine the most suitable placement for each inmate so they can receive medication and work on becoming stable. The end goal of the program is to reduce recidivism for those who already face a very high chance of returning to prison once they are released.

Ken Hohenberg, the Police Chief of Kennewick, has stated that “from my perspective, this is not only going to be able to help keep people out of the criminal justice system that truly don’t belong there, but also provide some hope for their families and friends. We see this as the right thing to do.”
0

Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

A MetroHealth initiative that supports people who have serious mental health diagnoses and criminal convictions has been making strides to help people get their lives back and stay out of prison. The Wellness Reentry Assistance Program (WRAP), which began in 2013, identifies Cuyahoga County jail inmates exhibiting serious mental health conditions and provides them health care and support. It also provides addiction care for the 30-50% of inmates who are struggling with substance abuse. 

The free program is instrumental in ensuring inmates continue to receive the help they need through re-entry. Program members learn to fill out food stamp applications and social security paperwork, receive job training, and learn how to find housing. They also are informed on how to schedule and arrange transportation to a doctor’s appointment and have their prescriptions filled. Rashell Tallen, a WRAP nurse care coordinator, explains how devastating and confusing the world can be for someone who has just been released from jail. “I see it time and time again, it’s very overwhelming for these folks. They don’t know where to start. You walk out of jail and you might have lost your apartment and all your clothes and everything. You’re just standing there on the sidewalk. Our patients know that they can come here, that we have a plan.”

This program not only helps those who are currently incarcerated, but also those who have a criminal history. The program has improved the lives of nearly 900 people since 2013. The people participating in the program are usually low-level and nonviolent offenders. Between 2015 and 2018, 214 people participating in the program were arrested and jailed half as often as before they were in the program. 

WRAP costs between $200,000 and $300,000 annually, and has garnered support from the Woodruff Foundation, the U.S Department of Justice, and the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County. The program’s founder, Ewald Horwath, has had success with the program because they do not stigmatize their program members. “We don’t view our patients primarily as offenders, even though they are in jail. We’re approaching it from the standpoint of these are people who need treatment.” And their treatment is working.

One 38-year-old mother from Parma, Shannon Kuhn, attributes her regaining control of her life and getting sober to WRAP. She was approached about the program during a 2-month period at Cuyahoga County jail over a year ago – her first time being incarcerated. Since then, her charges have been dropped and she is awaiting expungement, all because of her participation in the program. She was homeless and staying with a friend, she had lost all hope. She had never received the kind of support that she got from the program before, and it overjoyed her. “They let me know that they were going to be there for me. They have been there for me for over a year now, every step of the way with anything I needed.” Thanks to this innovative program, she now has a home, a full time job, and a car. She can live her life with her daughter, sober and brimming with ambition.

0