Each month, SAMHSA’s GAINS Center releases a monthly newsletter in coordination with Policy Research Associates. These newsletters contain Q&A interviews with subject-matter experts, a program spotlight, new publications, announcements, resources, and the latest news in the field.

This content seeks to enrich and provide up-to-date information on the GAINS Center’s work to expand access to services for people with mental and/or substance use disorders who come into contact with the adult criminal justice system. Monthly issues focus on a broad range of communities, including but not limited to incarcerated or formerly incarcerated Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander people, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and women.

View our past issues to learn more. Back issues are posted once they are released.


  • January: Q&A with Michael Askew, Executive Director of the Center for African American Recovery Development; WRAP: A Tool for Personal Wellness in Criminal Justice Settings; Considerations for Transition-Age Youth in the Adult Criminal Justice System
  • February: Q&A with Angela Patterson, CPS-MH, FPM, WHWC, Certified Peer Specialist-Mental Health and Whole Health Wellness Coach with the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, Statewide Coordinator for Double Trouble in Recovery; Institute for Community Justice Helps People Who Are Incarcerated Look Ahead; Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) Supports Families of People Experiencing Substance Use Disorder and Incarceration
  • March: Q&A with Eddy Zheng, President and Founder of the New Breath Foundation; Pathways Home: Disrupting the Homelessness-to-Prison Cycle; The Importance of Wellness in Peer Support
  • April: Q&A Joanna Patcha, MBA, MSW, LCSWA, Director of Behavioral Health at the Center for Community Transitions in Charlotte, North Carolina; Underlying Causes of MOUD Diversion in Jails: Strategies and Solutions; Little Scandinavia Prison Unit: A Humane Approach to Detention
  • May: Empowerment for Individuals Who Are Justice Involved through SMART Recovery; Q&A with Laurie Johnson-Wade, Co-founder, Lost Dreams Awakening Recovery Community Organization; The Imani Breakthrough Project: Faith-Based Recovery Support for Black and Latino Communities. [Corrections were made on May 25, 2023: An earlier version of this issue incorrectly spelled Michael Vaughan’s name as Michael Vaughn. In addition, Desmond Haneef Perry’s photo was mislabeled as Michael Vaughan. We apologize for the errors and will strengthen our editorial process to prevent such errors from happening again.]


  • January: No issue released in January 2022
  • February: Q&A with Courtney Collier, Telehealth Coordinator, Pathways; Two Sides to Every Bench, Utilizing Trauma-Informed Court Practices to Promote Dignity and Reconciliation; Announcing Awards for SAMHSA’s GAINS Center’s 2022 Trauma-Informed Responses Train-the-Trainer Event and Sequential Intercept Model Mapping Workshop
  • March: Q&A with Robin Ledford, Clinical Director, Restorative Justice Program, Families Free; Natural Supports Perspective Series: Adult Child of a Parent That Is Incarcerated; Planting Justice Programs: Sowing Seeds of System Transformation and Community Growth
  • April: Q&A with Karen Fortuna, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College, Co-creator of the Digital Peer Support Certification; Natural Supports Perspectives Series: Caregiving for a Sibling with Traumatic Brain Injury and Justice Involvement; The Right Response at the Right Time: The Albuquerque Community Safety DepartmentLeads with Community
  • May: Q&A with Sandra Smith, PhD, Peer Programs Manager, Via Hope; Natural Supports Perspective Series: Godparent of a Formerly Incarcerated Nephew with SUD; The Minnesota Prison Doula Project: Providing Care and Community for Pregnant Individuals in Prison and Jail
  • June: Q&A with Philip Cooper, CPSS, CHW, Inspire Coordinator, Appalachian Regional Commission; Texas Initiative Aims to Reduce the Wait for Inpatient Competency Restoration Services; SAMHSA’s GAINS Center’s 2022 Individual Trauma Training Awardees
  • July: Q&A with Don Caballero, Academy Program Director, Prison Fellowship Academy Program; Benevolence Farm: Helping Formerly Incarcerated Women Heal and Move Forward; Sobering Centers Offer Low-Barrier Alternative to Jail or Emergency Rooms
  • August: Q&A with David Johnson, Policy and Research Liaison at Grassroots Leadership, Reentry Peer Specialist, Peer Support Recovery Specialist, Mental Health Care Specialist; Forward Training Center: Helping People Build a Life of Purpose through Career Development; A Closer Look at SAMHSA’s GAINS Center’s Sequential Intercept Model Mapping Workshop 2022 Awardees
  • September: Q&A with Willie Lockett, CEO/Founder, Urban Equity Group, LLC; Correctional Education as a Path to Opportunity and Hope; Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico: Support, Community, and Connection for Transgender Individuals Involved in the Criminal Justice System
  • October: Q&A with Ambi Daniel, Director of Family Support Navigation Services, Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc.; Camp Hope Brings Low-Barrier Housing to Southern New Mexico; GAINS Center Learning Collaboratives: Supporting Communities to Better Serve Individuals with Mental and Substance Use Disorders in the Criminal Justice System
  • November: Q&A with The Honorable Jeffry R. Smith, Spokane County District Court, Mental Health Therapeutic Court, and DUI Therapeutic Court; Lone Star Justice Alliance: Promoting Trauma-Informed, Age-Appropriate Responses to Emerging Adults; Strategies for Post-release Housing for People with a Sex Offense Conviction
  • December: No issue released in December 2022


  • January: Q&A with Representative Tarra Simmons, JD; Leveraging the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) to Address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; 2021 Trauma-Informed Responses Train-the-Trainer and SIM Mapping Workshop Sites Selected
  • February: Q&A with Alisha Moreland-Capuia, MD; Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s Welcome Home Program: Using Native Practices to Promote Healing; Meeting Health Needs at Reentry: North Carolina’s FIT Program
  • March: Q&A with Cheryl Gagne, ScD; Changing Lives—and the Justice Process— through Collaborative Tribe-County Treatment Courts; From Reentering the Community to Establishing a Reentry Project: Susan Burton’s A New Way of Life Reentry Project
  • April: Q&A with Janie Marsh Gullickson; Prison Yoga Project: Creating Access to Healing and Recovery; Community of Practice 2020 Recap: Competence to Stand Trial/Competence Restoration
  • May: Q&A with Neil Campbell, M.S.; Asian Prisoner Support Committee Supports Trauma Recovery and Healing in Prison and Reentry through Cultural Restoration; Meeting Needs and Reducing Recidivism: Washington’s Offender Reentry Community Safety Program
  • June: Developing an Equity Lens in Criminal Justice Practices; CJCares Community Paramedics: Reducing Frequent Emergency Service Use by Connecting High Utilizers to Appropriate Care Services; Q&A with Elena Kravitz, CPRP
  • July: Q&A with Victoria Westbrook; LGBTQ+ Individuals at the Intersection of Mental Health and Criminal Justice; Advocating from Experience: Peers Serving the Legal Needs of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated People
  • August: Q&A with Mark Restivo; Promoting Access to Justice through Trauma-Informed Courts; More than Books: New Jersey Libraries Provide a Fresh Start for Returning Citizens
  • September: Q&A with Sarai Cook, Esq., Serving Indigenous People through Ceremony and Tradition; Transportation after Incarceration: Where the Rubber Meets the Road for Sustainable Reentry
  • October: Q&A with David Lund; Reducing Collateral Consequences through Technology: Two Case Examples; Peers and Volunteers Supporting Recovery: Mountain Top Cares Coalition Battles the Opioid Epidemic in Rural New York
  • November: Q&A with Leandru Willie; Healing Old and New Wounds: Indigenous Mental Health, Culturally Responsive Treatment, and the Criminal Justice System; Program Spotlight: The National Sobering Collaborative on Sobering Centers
  • December: Q&A with Kristin Schillig; Make It Mobile: Brandywine Counseling and Community Services Meeting People Where They Are; Best of 2021: Staff Picks; Apply Today: Criminal Justice Learning Collaboratives