Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence

Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center at NEOMED
The Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center at NEOMED in the Department of Psychiatry is dedicated to promoting recovery and improving the lives of as many people with schizophrenia as possible by accelerating the adoption of evidence-based and promising practices. The BeST Center works with mental health consumers, family members, expert consultants, policy makers and mental health partners from Northeast Ohio. The BeST Center does not provide direct services; rather, it offers training, consultation, evaluation, education and outreach activities to build the capacity of local systems to provide state-of-the-art care.

County of Summit Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board
The County of Summit ADM Board is the planner, manager and funder of comprehensive behavioral health care services that are provided through contracts with its certified provider agencies. In recognition of its efforts to promote jail diversion programs for people with severe and persistent mental disorders, the ADM Board receives funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health to support the CJ/CCoE. In 2003 the County of Summit ADM Board received the Bronze Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of its systematic efforts to decriminalize persons with mental illness.

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project
The Council of State Governments (CSG) developed the Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project in response to requests from state government officials for recommendations to improve the criminal justice system’s response to people with mental illness. State government officials identified this issue as particularly pressing for several reasons. Practitioners and advocates have approached lawmakers in capitols across the country explaining the urgency of the problem. Newspaper headlines describe tragedies involving people with mental illness that seemingly could have been prevented. And, the current approach to responding to people with mental illness has placed an enormous strain on criminal justice and state budget resources.

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project Report is the result of dozens of days of meetings among leading criminal justice and mental health policymakers and practitioners from across the country, surveys administered to state and local government officials in communities in 50 states, hundreds of hours of interviews with administrators of innovative programs, and thousands of hours reviewing materials describing research, promising programs, policies, and legislation.

GAINS Center
The National GAINS Center for People with Co-Occurring Disorders in the Justice System was created in 1995, and refunded in 2000, as a national locus for the collection and dissemination of information about effective mental health and substance abuse services for people with co-occurring disorders in contact with the justice system.

NAMI Ohio (the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio) was created in 1982 by a small group of family members to provide mutual support, education, and advocacy for individuals affected by serious brain disorders and for their families. We now include family members, mental health consumers, providers, community mental health boards, mental health organizations and other supporters among our growing membership. As a successful grassroots organization advocating for mental health issues, NAMI Ohio has a winning history of affecting public policy and legislation regarding care and resources for persons with serious mental illness. NAMI Ohio members testify before the state legislature, educate business and education leaders, and sit on state planning and advisory committees, county ADAMH/CMHRS Boards, and various task forces. NAMI Ohio insures that individuals with mental illnesses and their families are represented in places where decisions are made.

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED)
NEOMED is a community-based, state medical and pharmacy school that offers a combined B.S./M.D. program that allows students to graduate with their B.S./M.D. in as few as six years. NEOMED with its campus in Rootstown, Ohio is the only medical school in the country that has a partnership with three state universities and 17 hospitals. This relationship allows the College to focus on its mission of providing highly trained physicians oriented to the practice of medicine at the community level, while at the same time remaining cost-effective for students and the taxpayers of Ohio. NEOMED has collaborative arrangements with other colleges and universities to offer graduate-level education in biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering, and a master of public health program.

Office of Criminal Justice Services
Ohio Revised Code 181.52 establishes the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) as the lead criminal justice planning agency for the state. Through its research, technology, grants administration and programmatic initiatives, OCJS serves agencies and communities committed to reducing and preventing crime across Ohio. Service is at the core of OCJS’ vision, with collaboration the driver that allows the agency to remain ahead of criminal justice issues. The outcome of this service and collaboration is the excellence Ohio enjoys in a broad range of justice products such as funding, technology tools, training and publications. OCJS customers include the Administration, legislature, law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, victim groups and citizens.

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
The primary mission of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is to ensure that quality mental health care is available in communities to all Ohioans, particularly individuals with serious mental illness. Last year, Ohio’s community mental health systems provided services to 250,000 people, including more than 75,000 adults who are severely disabled by mental illness and 70,000 children. The mission of the Office of Forensic Services is to ensure quality mental health care is provided to all persons with mental illness involved in the criminal justice system by improving assessment, treatment and continuity of care; increasing community-based services and enhancing communication, education and cooperation between mental health, criminal justice, and other state departments; in order to reduce institutional recidivism, address public safety concerns as well as individual, family and community functioning.

Stepping Up Initiative

The primary objective of the National Stepping Up Initiative is to reduce the number of individuals with mental illnesses in jails throughout the nation.  Stepping Up invites communities to collaborate with the goal of developing an action plan that will be utilized to achieve a detectible impact in their local criminal justice systems.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) is collaborating with Ohio communities to support that common objective.  This collaboration engages a wide range of individuals, including policymakers, criminal justice professionals, consumers, mental health professionals and committed others.  OhioMHAS began utilizing Community Innovations grants to help this objective become a reality.  As of June 6, 2016, the Ohio Stepping Up Initiative has engaged 23 Ohio communities, whom serve almost 52% of the state population.

The American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association is a medical specialty society recognized world-wide. Its over 35,000 U.S. and international member physicians work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorder, including mental retardation and substance-related disorders. It is the voice and conscience of modern psychiatry. Its vision is a society that has available, accessible quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law is the leading national legal advocate for people with mental disabilities. Through precedent-setting litigation and in the public policy arena, the Bazelon Center works to advance and preserve the rights of people with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.

Center for Evidenced-based Practices

Center for Innovative Practices

Mental Illness/Mental Retardation, Developmental Disabilities

The Sentencing Project
The Sentencing Project, incorporated in 1986, has become a national leader in the development of alternative sentencing programs and in research and advocacy on criminal justice policy. The Sentencing Project originated out of pilot programs developed by Malcolm C. Young, Executive Director, for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency from 1981-86.

Treatment Advocacy Center
The Treatment Advocacy Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating legal and clinical barriers to timely and humane treatment for millions of Americans with severe brain disorders who are not receiving appropriate medical care.


Phone: 330.325.6670

Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence

Department of Psychiatry