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Salt Lake County, Utah: A County Justice and Behavioral Health Systems Improvement Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2015
20 pages
This report describes the features and outcome of a project in which the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center worked with Salt Lake County's (Utah) Criminal Justice Advisory Council (CJAC) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of policies, programs, and practices of the county's justice and behavioral health systems.
For a year, CJAC and its executive committee met regularly with the CSG Justice Center staff to develop a methodology for an analysis of the existing system, review the findings, and provide feedback on preliminary policy recommendations. These recommendations addressed the challenges associated with serving people who are involved with the criminal justice system. CJAC members and other community leaders signed the initial letter of support for the initiative. Four project components were designed and implemented. The pretrial screening process was improved. Staff were hired to implement a risk and need screen for everyone booked into jail. Information-sharing agreements were developed to increase data-sharing among county agencies, particularly the Sheriff's Office, behavioral health services, and criminal justice services. Underlying the efforts was a commitment to the use of evidence-based interventions with the county probation population in addressing criminogenic risk and needs. The county has also initiated a pilot community-based intensive supervision program, a pre-prosecution diversion pilot program, and a co-occurring reentry and empowerment program for women with multiple disorders. State legislation was recently passed to facilitate support for these reforms. Recommendations and action plans are presented. Appended supplementary material

Date Published: September 1, 2015