SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, operated by Policy Research Associates, Inc., provides direct training and technical assistance to jurisdictions across the nation to better support people with behavioral health needs who are involved in the criminal justice system. The GAINS Center’s Learning Collaborative model brings together local jurisdiction teams to create coordinated local strategic plans and implementation strategies for a focus topic. Selected teams for each LC will work intensively to determine optimal ways to implement best practices and define success indicators for their respective Learning Collaborative. Each topic-specific Learning Collaborative engages subject-matter experts to work with jurisdiction teams during the implementation process and facilitate peer-to-peer sharing.

The Learning Collaboratives (formerly known as Communities of Practice, or CoPs) are designed to achieve four key objectives:

  • Enhance collective knowledge of key issues and familiarity with the topic
  • Understand promising, best, and evidence-based practices to address the topic and related issues
  • Develop strategic plans that focus on the issue, including defining assignments, deadlines, and measurable outcomes to be reported
  • Increase knowledge about the challenges and lessons learned in implementing strategies through peer-to-peer sharing via virtual convenings, monthly collaborative calls, and other virtual mechanisms

Teams are composed of local decision makers, selected through a competitive application process. For updates on future opportunities, join the GAINS Center mailing list.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Learning Collaboratives

  • Competence to Stand Trial/Competence Restoration: This multi-year Learning Collaborative focuses on legal, clinical, and systemic issues, including the demand for competence evaluations, evidence-based screening and assessment measures, waitlists for competence restoration program beds, best practices for competence restoration programs, partnership and collaboration development between state and local agencies, and other relevant issues.
  • Equity and Inclusion in Drug Treatment Courts: This Learning Collaborative will provide participating treatment courts a structured and guided process to learn about and implement core strategies outlined in the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Equity and Inclusion: Equivalent Access Assessment and Toolkit.
  • Integrating Civilian-Led, Co-response, and Specialized Police Response Models: This Learning Collaborative will help communities reduce police involvement in mental health crisis response and seamlessly integrate police response strategies.
  • Transition Reentry Strategies: This Learning Collaborative will allow teams to develop community-wide strategic plans to advance policies and practices around a continuum of processes that provide seamless transition and retention in the community.

Learn more about the FY2022 Learning Collaboratives.

Previous Selected Topics

FY 2021 Communities of Practice

Community of Practice National Webinar Series: Competence to Stand Trial

Learn more about the FY2021 CoPs.

FY 2020 Communities of Practice

Learn more about the FY2020 CoPs.

FY 2019 Learning Collaboratives

Learn more about the FY 2019 LCs.