Recently I became involved in a Task Force led by the Department of State Health Services, and prompted by the approach of full capacity at the state hospitals.
In that context I became aware of an upcoming public hearing that may be of interest:
Rural Strategies for Jail and Hospital Diversion
March 3rd, 2010, 9AM-3PM
Czech Heritage Center, La Grange, Texas
9:00 AM Continental Breakfast
9:20 AM Welcome
Judge Dan R. Beck, Mike Maples, Andrea Richardson
9:25 AM Overview of the Day
9:30 AM Mental Health Jail Diversion Strategies
Henry Steadman, Dan Abreu
Description of Session: An overview of successful mental health and criminal justice diversion strategies across the national spectrum will be described, along with discussion of rural implementation issues.
10:00 AM National Perspective on Mental Health Courts
Henry Steadman, Dan Abreu
Description of Session: Specialized court based jail diversion strategies have been growing in numbers across the country. Highlights of successes and challenges of mental health courts will be described.
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Using Data to Drive Policy
Henry Steadman, Dan Abreu, Susan Stone
Description of Session: As the reliability of meaningful data is dependent upon commitment of stakeholders to develop systems to gather, report and analyze local data, this session offers a practical approach to performance measurement supporting policy making decisions.
11:15 AM Collaboration Among Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Entities in Rural Areas
Susan Stone, Henry Steadman, Dan Abreu
Description of Session: Meaningful outcomes are dependent upon commitment and collaboration. Rural areas with a relatively sparse population density in a large geographic area realize significant barriers for the development and sustainability of mental health jail diversion. Rural initiatives in other jurisdictions, cost implications and funding strategies will be discussed.
12:00 Lunch (Provided)
12:45 PM Reactor Panel
Description of Session: Invited local and state representatives will be asked to discuss implications and applicability of information provided in the morning session to local and state policy and planning efforts.
1:30 PM Break
1:45 PM Public Psychiatric Hospital Bed Capacity Crisis: Preliminary Recommendations of the Continuity of Care Task Force
Description of Session: As the increasing need for forensic beds places added pressure on the scarce resource of public psychiatric beds in Texas, practical recommendations based upon national successes are presented and public feedback is solicited.
3:00 PM Adjourn