Supervising the Mentally Ill in New York State – Mental Health Community Reintegration Program

SESSION INFO

Tuesday, August 20, 2019
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Session Type: Workshop

Nationally, deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill has had wide-ranging effects, and many states experienced a large increase in incarceration of mentally ill individuals, making prisons and jails de facto mental institutions for hundreds of thousands with severe mental illness. The challenges of treating and securing mentally ill inmates become even more daunting when these individuals are released to community supervision. In New York State, a series of high-profile, tragic events initiated by mentally ill parolees illustrated that more efforts were needed to assist this population. Cases such as those of Alejandro Morales and David St. Hubert, which involved the stabbing and murder of young children, spurred action from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision and other state agencies to deal with the public safety issue starkly presented. In 2015 the Mental Health Community Reintegration Program was created, a program with the goal of effectively assisting seriously mentally ill individuals who are released to supervision while also helping to increase public safety. This workshop will explain in detail what new policies and procedures were implemented, including increased staffing ratios, creation of new positions to specifically deal with the mentally ill, change in supervision standards, transportation requirements, and collaborative efforts with the Office of Mental Health. The workshop will also explore additional changes utilizing evidence-based practices and updated information from the field of mental health.

SESSION PRESENTERS

Donald Arras
Asst. Commisioner, NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Christina Hernandez
Director of Re-entry Services, NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Yvonne Oliver
Bureau Chief, NY State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision