Johnson County was selected as one of seven counties in the nation as a Stepping Up Innovator County for its expertise in taking actions to reduce the number of people in jail who experience mental illness.
As an Innovator County, Johnson County’s efforts will be highlighted as part of a new push from Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails to help counties consistently identify and collect data on this population.
“On behalf of the Board of County Commissioners, I want to congratulate the county professionals — mental health clinicians, law enforcement officers and many others — who have worked hard to earn this national designation and to better serve our community’s vulnerable populations,” said Chairman Ed Eilert.
Since being selected to join the Stepping Up initiative as one of the first four participating jurisdictions, Johnson County expanded its mental health co-responder program across the county to include 11 police jurisdictions and 14 cities; implemented a brief mental health screen during jail booking; enhanced the partnership between the Mental Health Center and the Department of Corrections; developed a veterans treatment court; improved outreach efforts to the community; and strengthened data-sharing efforts through My Resource Connection, a county database connecting residents to services they need.
Learn more about the county’s new designation as an Innovator County online.