Research conducted by the University of Virginia’s Department of Systems and Information Engineering, under the guidance of our local criminal justice planner, has revealed that at any given time, about one third of the 400 or so inmates at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail (ACRJ) have screened positive for having a serious mental illness.
This is a theme not unique to Virginia, and it speaks to our country’s need to redesign the way we respond to people with unmet mental health needs, before they interact with the criminal justice system.
Here in Charlottesville we appreciate the progressive leadership at ACRJ who have invited us inside the jail to being providing Systems Navigation to people while they are still incarcerated. Beginning the process of Navigation prior to release is a key component of our model, and is endorsed as a best practice to facilitate successful community engagement by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. This important work if funded through support from the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation and we are grateful for their partnership!