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New State Tool, To Help Divert Those With Mental-Health Needs

The Council of State Governments Justice Center released a new tool this week, as part of its Aligning Health and Safety Initiative, launched along with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance. The tool,  called The Aligning Health and Safety State Policy Tool, outlines key policy goals that make up the “building blocks” of effective state efforts: Collaboration, Data Collection and Information Sharing, and Aligning Funding. 

The Aligning Health and Safety initiative is designed "to support states’ efforts to harness local knowledge to transform public health and safety systems." In the announcement on Thursday about the new effort, agency leaders noted that states play a critical role in safely reducing the number of people with behavioral health needs who are entering local justice systems. But to do appropriately divert and treat people with behavioral needs, they need community-based resources and supports.

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