Forensic Behavioral Health Technical Assistance Center Report: Stakeholder Interview Results

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Approximately 35 percent of individuals within Texas’ county jails have a mental illness, and the number of individuals awaiting competency restoration services continues to increase, with over 1400 individuals on the forensic waitlist and 65 percent of state hospital beds in Texas currently utilized by the forensic population.1 One challenge limiting best practices and strategies to reduce justice involvement for individuals with mental health diagnoses (MH), substance use conditions (SU) and intellectual development disability (IDD) is the lack of a centralized resource for information, consultation, and technical assistance on effective interventions and diversions to treatment for this population, or those at risk of encountering the Texas justice system.2 

The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health (Hogg), in partnership with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health (TIEMH), aims to address the complexities and challenges of diverting individuals with behavioral health needs from the criminal justice system. Beginning in Spring 2021, Hogg conducted one-on-one interviews with Texas MH, SUD, and IDD stakeholders to assess the various gaps and needs to help inform the design and development of a technical assistance center.3 HHSC anticipates the launch of the web-based Texas Technical Assistance Center (TTA Center) later this year. This report has been produced to assist Hogg, HHSC, and TIEMH teams in phase I of this project. Learn more.