Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Partnership

The Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Partnership (BHCJP) was created by House Bill 990 in 2005. The group meets regularly to improve services for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders who become involved with the criminal justice system. The partnership includes over 40 active members representing state agencies, local behavioral health authorities, local law enforcement, advocates, and behavioral health service providers.

BHCJP efforts have helped to divert Marylanders with behavioral health needs from the criminal justice system, improve mental health and substance use service delivery in correctional facilities, and increase the likelihood of a successful community reentry upon release.

Areas of focus include

  • Issuance of State ID cards to inmates prior to release

  • Provision of a 30-day supply of psychiatric medication upon release

  • The suspension of Medicaid benefits during periods of incarceration and prompt restoration upon release

  • Improved behavioral health training for correctional officers, police officers, and parole and probation officers

  • Expedited outpatient appointments in community behavioral health centers for individuals returning to the community

  • Data sharing across systems to promote the continuity of care for individuals with serious mental illness that interact with law enforcement

  • Expanded availability of Crisis Intervention Teams and others efforts to divert individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis away from the criminal justice system

For more information, contact

Dan Martin
Senior Director of Public Policy
443-901-1550 x208

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