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Santa Cruz County Mental Health Advisory Board
Jail Committee

The Santa Cruz County Mental Health Advisory Board Jail Committee committee exists for the purpose of documenting areas of concern affecting the mental health of people in jail and working collaboratively to bring about improvements in key focus areas.

Our work is done in support of the mandate for the local mental health board to (WIC 5604.2(a)(1) and (3)): “Review and evaluate the community’s mental health needs, services, facilities, and special problems.” and “Advise the governing body and the local mental health director as to any aspect of the local mental health program.”

This committee will conclude its work on January 31, 2019. At that time the committee will submit a formal report on its work to the Mental Health Advisory Board.

METHODS

We will accomplish our purpose by seeking input directly from people who have had mental health needs while in jail and their loved ones, identifying written documents and other media resources relevant to our work, and contacting experts in our areas of concern. We will analyze the information collected to identify needs and possible improvements.

Based on committee members’ interest and community needs identified in the course of our work, we will select priority focus areas. In these areas, we will work collaboratively to bring about change. We will document other areas of concern outside of these priority focus areas to guide future work.

We seek to bring together people with direct experience and those with the power to make changes affecting them to engage in discussion and problem solving. We will meet with representatives of both County Behavioral Health and Sheriff’s Office Corrections management. Additional meetings with people with relevant expertise will be scheduled as needed and attended by committee members actively working on the relevant area of concern. These additional meetings will be reported back to the full committee at regularly scheduled full-group committee meetings.

COMPOSITION AND ATTENDANCE

The committee will have up to 7 members, selected by the Chair. Members may be added during the course of the committee’s work, and the committee may vote to expand beyond 7 members if a new member brings special expertise not already represented on the committee. The committee prioritizes membership of those with direct experience of the jail system, including as people who have had mental health needs while incarcerated, their loved ones, and jail staff.

Full-group committee meetings will be scheduled once a month. They will be announced in advance and open to the public. Members are expected to attend all scheduled full-group committee meetings. If unable to attend, they should notify the Chair as soon as possible in advance of the meeting. Members who miss more than two consecutive full-group committee meetings or three full-group committee meetings total will have their attendance records brought before the committee for review and may be requested to vacate their position on the committee.