This brief published by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center details information provided through staff interviews at peer-run organizations engaged in Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP)-funded projects and provides resources to help programs locate peer-run organizations locally.
To better understand and support the collaborations occurring among behavioral health-criminal justice programs and peer-run organizations, the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center interviewed staff at two peer-run organizations engaged in Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP)-funded projects. These staff offered their perspectives on the benefits of partnering with peer-run organizations and strategies to make these partnerships more successful. This brief details information gleaned from these interviews and provides resources to help programs locate peer-run organizations locally. Behavioral health-criminal justice programs, built on collaborative partnerships, are increasingly implemented to address the needs of people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders in jurisdictions across the country. These programs often reduce contact with the criminal justice system and strengthen people’s connections to services that support recovery and success. Many behavioral health-criminal justice programs are now including and in their programs to support and engage participants. However, most have not yet considered partnering with peer-run organizations to leverage their unique expertise in furthering program participants’ recovery, promoting systems change, and strengthening the peer workforce. This can be a missed opportunity since peer-run organizations have been shown to be effective at increasing well-being, feelings of empowerment, and improving individual recovery capital.