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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

COCHS, National Council Host Excellence Act, Criminal Justice Summit

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Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS) and the National Council for Behavioral Health hosted a summit this week examining the potential of the Excellence in Mental Health Act to fundamentally transform mass incarceration in the US criminal justice system.  The summit focused on the potential of the Excellence Act and Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) to reduce health care silos, ensure continuity of care and avoid unnecessary incarcerations for the behavioral health needs of justice involved individuals.

“CCBHC’s aren’t an answer. They are the only answer,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. “CCBHC’s answer the demand for impact, immediacy and same-day access. They are the answer for health, policy and public safety. CCBHC’s offer the science-based solutions as well as the patient and family voice. ”

Since its passage in 2014, much has been discussed regarding how the Excellence Act is poised to significantly change the delivery of behavioral health care. However, the profound implications of the Excellence Act for criminal justice reform are less well known. This summit brought together experts from public safety, health care, philanthropy and government to address issues related to the implementation of the Excellence Act, including:

  • The relationship between behavioral health disorders and disparities in justice involvement,
  • The impact of enhanced behavioral health resources on corrections across various settings,
  • The challenges and obstacles facing behavioral health providers in criminal justice settings, and
  • The potential of the Excellence Act to serve as a resource for building continuity of care through health information technology.

Want more information and resources on CCBHC’s? Check out the National Council’s CCBHC Resource Hub.