Criminal Justice Interface
In July 2004 Kentucky recognized the importance of keeping individuals who have a mental illness out of the criminal justice system by passing the â€œDecriminalization of mental illnessâ€ regulation (908 KAR 2:090). This regulation mandated that the mentally ill would not be subject to detention while awaiting a mental health evaluation for an involuntary hospitalization (KRS 202A).
The Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities has continued to place an emphasis on collaborating with the criminal justice system to help to identifyand when possible divertmentally ill persons away from detention centers and into treatment.
The department maintains several programs that seek to identify, divert and treat those who have a mental illness in different levels of the criminal justice system. These programs are described below.
Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)
Created by legislation in June 2007, this program provides for 40-hour in-service training for police officers. The training is offered ten times per year around the state and is Kentucky Law Enforcement Counsel (KLEC)-approved training that helps police officers identify and help persons who are having a mental health crisis.
Behavioral Health Jail Triage System
Created by legislation in June 2007, this system provides telephonic behavioral health screening for prisoners who exhibit signs of mental illness. The assessment is designed to address protocols for housing, supervision and treatment to help mitigate the mental health risks identified by the system. This system is available for use by all county detention centers and utilized by 84 counties.
This program is housed at the Kentucky State Reformatory prison in LaGrange, Kentucky, and is designed to assist individuals who have a mental illness to transition back to the community from prison. Staffed by two case managers and a peer support specialist, the program begins working with individuals months before release to ensure that an individual has housing, treatment appointments, benefits and other community supports in place before being released from prison.
Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT)
This program was created in 2016 and provides wrap-around services in the community to keep individuals who have a mental illness thriving in the community. Much like a traditional Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team, the FACT teamâ€™s primary focus is persons who have a severe mental illness and frequent contact with the criminal justice system. Currently this program is operated in Louisville by Centerstone.