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Part III: Operationalizing the Framework and Next Steps

beyond. A probation or parole system, in contrast, should measure the number of successful referrals to community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment or reduced revocations among its probation or parole officers. Once established, these measures should yield data on processes (such as the numbers served) as well as outcomes (such as reincarceration, revocations, sustained employment, and other metrics) for recovery and public safety. When possible, a university or research team unaffiliated with the state or local agency should conduct the analyses to track progress. • Further research will be needed to test the ways that criminogenic risk and behavioral health needs intersect and to more clearly articulate what works, for whom, in what dosage for each type of risk and need, and in what setting. Recommendations for specific treatment and supervision combinations for each member of a given subgroup are beyond the scope of the framework. Yet the framework does emphasize the need for effective responses to recognize the heterogeneity of any group of individuals and to tailor treatment and supervision plans to assessed strengths and needs. The framework has set out basic principles to guide plan development, but it cannot be used as a substitute for the care and judgment of the behavioral health and corrections workforce. Many of these challenges are not new. Rather, the framework sharpens the focus on which practices and policies need to be tested and for what purposes. Achieving the vision of improved outcomes through the effective use of scarce resources will require leadership at the federal, state, and local levels. At the federal level, the National Institute of Corrections, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have taken the first steps by supporting the development of this framework. But a conceptual framework is just that—conceptual. To apply the principles implicit in this framework, leadership at the systems and service level is required. At the state level, ASCA, NASMHPD, NASADAD, and APPA are among the membership organizations that have a central role in moving the field to a common approach to the complex needs of individuals with behavioral disorders in the criminal justice system. At the local level, county administrators, service providers, people with criminal histories who have behavioral health disorders, and citizens must participate in this dialogue. Their voices and commitment to change will ultimately determine if the goals of the criminal justice and behavioral health systems can be advanced by this framework to improve rates of recovery and public safety in all our communities.


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