SAMHSA’s GAINS Center

SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

By Kevin Cleare, Peer Support Implementation Coordinator at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene I came home from prison in 2007 with the assistance of a peer organization that developed a relationship with me while I was incarcerated. The organization, called Hands Across Long Island (HALI), employs peers with lived experience… Read More


SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

In April 2018, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center convened a Best Practices Implementation Academy for local behavioral health, law enforcement, and criminal justice teams focused on reducing justice involvement among people with mental and substance use disorders. One plenary of the conference focused on considering racial and ethnic disparities in local strategic planning efforts. James Bell, founder… Read More


In January 2018, as part of the response to recent legislation in Mississippi, House Bill 585, which mandates that the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) provide benefits assistance to individuals preparing to be released from incarceration, MDOC applied for and received the SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance grant offered to criminal justice agencies.  On May 31,… Read More


SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

By Ayorkor Gaba, David Smelson, Debra A. Pinals, Kelsey Clary, & Idella Sanders-Jones Joe* smiles ear to ear as he receives his graduation certificate from his treatment court team, which includes his MISSION Peer Support Specialist and Case Manager. He humbly explains to the group in attendance that this was his first time graduating anything… Read More


SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

By Josh Cantwell, LCSW, PRSS, Clinical Director of Special Programs, Grand Lake Mental Health Center, Inc. In 2015, over 1,100 of the people served at Grand Lake Mental Health Center (GLMHC) were admitted to the hospital for psychiatric services. Many of these episodes involved a law enforcement officer waiting in the emergency room (ER) instead… Read More


SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

By Douglas B. Marlowe, JD, PhD, National Association of Drug Court Professionals No program or intervention can be expected to work for everyone. Providing too much or the wrong kind of services not only fails to improve outcomes, but it can make outcomes worse by placing excessive burdens on some participants and interfering with their… Read More


SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

 About Mecklenburg County’s Criminal Justice Services SOAR Initiative  By Dazara Ware, MPC, SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery Technical Assistance Center Getting Started with SOAR In 2017, Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services (CJS) in North Carolina was awarded technical assistance through the SAMHSA SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) Technical Assistance Center. SOAR is a… Read More


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This article is part of a GAINS Center series on promoting race equity in behavioral health and justice outcomes. Read Part 4 here. By Alice Chasan In Oregon, as elsewhere in the country, the disproportionate involvement of people of color in the criminal justice system has remained a serious civil rights and public health concern. Civil… Read More


SAMHSA's GAINS Center logo

By Robert Sullivan, Director, Johnson County’s Department of Corrections Leveraging a University Partnership In May 2016, Johnson County partnered with the University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) Fellowship to develop a predictive analytics model that would promote intergovernmental opportunities for cross-system cooperation and coordination while increasing our ability to proactively connect individuals… Read More


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  By Tamra Oman, Human Resources Program Coordinator and Recovery Support Specialist, Wisconsin Resource Center Tamra Oman, Human Resources Program Coordinator and Recovery Support Specialist at the Wisconsin Resource Center, shared her reflections on her participation in the Peer Support in Criminal Justice Settings Curriculum Development Workshop. In this Workshop, attendees were tasked with developing… Read More