Mental Health and the Consent Decree: Message to the Baltimore Community on “Gaps Analysis” by CPIC

Dear Baltimore Community,

As you may be aware, there is a working group called the Collaborative Planning and Implementation Committee (CPIC), which is comprised of individuals and organizations from the community, representing a wide range of disciplines and perspectives who seek to improve encounters between law enforcement and people with behavioral health disorders.  The City, in collaboration with CPIC, was required by the consent decree to conduct an assessment to identify gaps in the behavioral health service system, recommend solutions, and assist with implementation of the recommendations as appropriate.  CPIC has been calling this a “gaps analysis.”  The gaps analysis report is complete and is available here: https://www.baltimorepolice.org/baltimore-public-health-system-gap-analysis

This report represents a tremendous amount of work by Human Services Research Institute (HSRI, the company that prepared the report), CPIC, and many other stakeholders in Baltimore—including many of you.  The report describes the next steps the City, BPD, CPIC, and the community will be able to take to reduce unnecessary encounters with police and the criminal justice system for people with behavioral health disabilities, to promote the least police-involved response possible consistent with public safety, and to build up the community-based behavioral health system, focusing on vital crisis services, intensive supports, and permanent supported housing.

The City’s and BPD’s implementation of the recommendations in the gaps analysis will require the continued efforts and involvement of community members to ensure that the goals of the Consent Decree and the needs of the community are fulfilled.  If you would like to get involved in implementation efforts related to the gaps analysis, contact Shanna Borell at Shanna.Borell@BHSBaltimore.org.  The CPIC includes gap analysis, data, and policy workgroups, and meets regularly with the BPD to review the department’s programs, procedures, and policies.  If you are interested in attending CPIC meetings or getting general CPIC updates, contact Lee Irving at Lee.Irving@BHSBaltimore.org.  The Department of Justice looks forward to continuing to work with the City, BPD, and the community as you work on implementation of the recommendations in the gaps analysis.

Sincerely,

Earl

Earl H. Saunders

Investigator, Special Litigation Section

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (PHB)

Washington, DC 20530

(202) 514-1666 (p)

(202) 514-6903 (f)

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