PRA eNews: January 2020

The January 2020 edition of the Policy Research Associates’ monthly newsletter included announcements, publications, and the latest posts from the PRA blog.

In this issue, PRA announces a resource produced in partnership with the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), Best Practices for Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace. This document a free resource for employers that wish to improve workplace practices to enhance the well-being of their employees. A recent analysis found that for every $1 invested in workplace mental health, there is a median annual return of $1.62. This return increases to $2.18 for those programs that are well-established and operating for 3 or more years.

This issue also highlights PRA’s efforts to ensure eligible justice-involved adults receive appropriate and timely competence to stand trial (CST)/competence restoration (CR) services. As part of its efforts, PRA provided recommendations to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the federal court, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania on strategies to reduce waitlists for CST evaluations and CR services. Similarly, PRA is currently working with the Trueblood Court Monitor’s Office, Seattle Foundation, Disability Rights Washington, and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to provide technical assistance to 15 diversion programs funded by the Trueblood settlement. In 2018, an environmental scan and overview of the current status of the field on issues related to CST/CR were completed, including a review of all empirical research and a state-by-state analysis of competence laws, processes, and programs. PRA has also prioritized setting a national research agenda to begin to fill the data gaps to inform and guide best practices and to improve the CST/CR processes across the United States.

This issue provides an overview of the National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice’s (NCYOJ’s) work with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Georgia. NCYOJ is providing training across the state to improve interactions between law enforcement and youth experiencing behavioral health crises via its Crisis Intervention Teams for Youth model. Learn more about the Crisis Intervention Teams for Youth train-the-trainer model offered by NCYOJ.

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This resource was first shared in 2020.

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