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Alternatives to Detention - Reentry

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $549,999)

The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services (DBHIDS) partnering with the Philadelphia jail (the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, PDP) submits this application for consideration under the JMHCP Priority Area “Demonstrate and ensure that funds are used for public health and public safety; demonstrate active participation of co-applicants in administering the project; document... that funds used for treatment of incarcerated populations will provide transition and reentry services...” The proposed Alternatives to Detention (ATD) Reentry program will increase the capacity of the jail and the City’s behavioral health agency to support incarcerated individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) or co-occurring SMI and substance use disorders (SMI/SUD) by facilitating connections to community-based treatment and reentry supports.

Of Philadelphia’s estimated 1.5 million people, 45% identify as white and 44% identify as Black/African American; 15% identify their ethnicity as Hispanic/Latinx.  In April 2021, Philadelphia’s jail population included 4,831 individuals. Black/African American individuals are significantly overrepresented in the jail population (74%) compared to white individuals in the jail (8%). Approximately 100-300 people with SMI are admitted to the jail monthly, comprising 20% of admissions. People with SMI face distinctive challenges obtaining behavioral health services upon jail release. According to Philadelphia Stepping Up data, only 36% of individuals with SMI reentering from the jail are connected to services within the first 30 days after release. 

During Planning, DBHIDS and PDP will collaborate to streamline reentry through planning processes, enhancing partnerships with cross-systems agencies and referral sources, providing evidence-based practice (EBP)-supported training, and establishing data collection/management plans. EBPs will include Motivational Interviewing and Brief Critical Time Intervention. During Implementation, the ATD Reentry program will comprise two DBHIDS Reentry Navigators and one PDP Re-entry Coordinator. DBHIDS and PDP will develop and execute reentry plans to increase connections to care upon release. PDP staff will identify individuals with SMI and convey this information to Reentry Navigators, who will meet with release-eligible individuals, screen for reentry needs, and use Motivational Interviewing skills to prepare individuals for community reintegration. Navigators will provide additional follow-up to increase rates of service engagement, improve behavioral health outcomes, and decrease rates of reincarceration.

Date Created: December 13, 2021