3 Part Series on Supporting the Recovery of Justice-Involved Consumers

Report cover 1 of 3 Learning about Us, Learning to Help UsReport cover 2 of 3 Self-Advocacy and Empowerment ToolkitReport cover 3 of 3 Promising Practices guide

3 Part Series on Supporting the Recovery of Justice-Involved Consumers

Justice-involved consumers have expressed a need to have resources and materials that will assist them in making informed decisions about their futures. Although justice-involved consumers experience many of the same challenges that other consumers do; justice-involved consumers have a unique set of challenges and barriers that they must successfully overcome in their recovery journeys. Unfortunately, many are unprepared for challenges and are often unaware of the resources and strategies that are at their disposal to successfully overcome these challenges.

Over the past 10 years, we have witnessed an increased interest in developing services that meet the unique needs of justice-involved consumers. The emergence of diversion and reentry programs and a growing emphasis on community based supports and community reintegration, have resulted in the development of many innovative practices. Like many promising practices, these practices have evolved largely due to the vision and creativity of program managers and the involvement of other critical stakeholders such as community based providers, faith-based institutions, individuals and family members.

Each recovery journey begins with just one step and we hope that the following Justice Involved Consumer Resources will help you assist people as they begin and progress through their recovery journeys. The 3 Part Series on Supporting the Recovery of Justice-Involved Consumers was created to be used most effectively collectively, but can also be used individually.

Part 1:

Learning About Us, Learning to Help Us: Supporting People with Psychiatric Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System is accompanied by the Consumer Toolkit and Personal Narratives. The Consumer Toolkit is designed to share with the consumers with whom you work. It provides descriptions of resources that people can use to support their personal recovery journeys. Readers can easily locate specific resources to help them access housing, information about benefits, peer support and other tools useful in their journey. Personal Narratives is a series of personal stories designed to assist you in learning about individuals with psychiatric disabilities and their involvement in the criminal justice system. They are beneficial in bringing inspiration and understanding to others with similar experiences, providing powerful examples of hope, responsibility, personal empowerment and the critical role of peer support. Personal Narratives are available in both audio and written form.

Part 2:

The Self-advocacy and Empowerment Toolkit identifies resources and strategies to guide you, its readers, individuals with behavioral health issues and past or current contact with the criminal justice system in achieving personal recovery goals. The Toolkit responds to the expressed need of justice-involved people with behavioral health issues for additional resources to assist them in making informed decisions about their futures in a manner that accounts for their unique challenges. Although all consumers experience challenges, justice-involved consumers face a special set of challenges and barriers in their recovery journeys. These tools were designed to help you overcome these challenges and allow you to enjoy all the opportunities and benefits of a full life in the community. This toolkit discusses services and supports and provides you with contact information to help you access them.

Most importantly, these resources can connect you with something necessary to move forward with your life - hope. Hope is one of the keys to being able to overcome life's challenges.

Part 3:

The Promising Practices Guide includes approaches and practices reviewed and identified by the CMHS National GAINS Center as part of its Adapting Evidence-Based Practices for Justice-Involved involved Populations Initiative. As a key component of this initiative, the GAINS Center hosted a series of expert panel meetings on each topic to review best practices and identify promising programs across the United States that have implemented these practices and are helping to develop the evidence base for their efficacy. The output of the GAINS Center expert panel meetings resulted in a fact sheet series that examines the adaptation and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) with justice-involved consumers, reviews the evidence base, and highlights the experiences of consumers and program staff members who have participated in EBP delivery.