Reforming Behavioral Healthcare Services for Justice-Involved Residents

In Washington D.C., one in eight adults is justice involved, and many need access to behavioral health services. To help them get the appropriate services, the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) and the Executive Office of the Mayor are working to improve how they provide and oversee behavioral health for justice-involved individuals throughout the system.

To this end, DBH recently developed a Forensic Services Division, which will standardize and streamline how people are assessed and treated for behavioral-health interventions. Supporting the division’s work is FUSE executive fellow C. Brent Kiser, who will help leaders define and implement strategies to improve management and operations, and will work across agencies and sectors to forge lasting practices and protocols aimed at reform. Among its goals, the division hopes to create standard staff training for screening and reporting behavioral health issues, and use those assessments to determine the appropriate services.