Broken Record: The Continued Criminalization of Mental Health Issues, report and accompanying interactive website, reveals how people with mental health issues end up in Ontario’s criminal justice system and the destructive consequences that result for these individuals, their families, taxpayers, and all of society. Broken Record updates and amplifies the policy proposals previously outlined by JHSO in its 2015 report, “Unlocking Change”. It presents common sense solutions that can be implemented to effectively decriminalize mental health issues in Ontario.
Mental Health, Disabilities & the Criminal Justice System
Closed quarters: Challenges and opportunities in stabilizing housing and mental health across the justice sector is a report by the Housing, Health, and Justice Community of Interest (COI), spells out the issues faced by people whose needs are at the intersection of housing, mental health, and justice system involvement, and also makes related recommendations.
Reintegration in Ontario: Practices, Priorities, and Effective Models, a Report released on behalf of the Association for Effective Reintegration in Ontario (AERO), a collaborative group of researchers, front-line service providers, and academics, provides practical solutions to effect real change to the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals back into society. Reintegration in Ontario provides a unique guide for reintegration services and programming in Ontario. The research and models identified challenge those traditional programs and services that no longer adequately deal with the complex nature of reintegration.
Fractured Care: Public Health Opportunities in Ontario’s Correctional Institutions highlights research that shows that incarcerated populations have significantly higher rates of acute and chronic physical and mental health conditions compared to the general population. Looking to what other jurisdictions have already successfully undertaken, it recommends exploring the transfer of health care provision in jails from corrections to the Ministry of Health in Ontario.
Unlocking Change: Decriminalizing Mental Health Issues in Ontario, outlines the way mental health issues have been criminalized in recent years. The report asserts that the province must stop relying on the justice system as a key responder to individuals who have mental health issues, and provides recommendations aimed at shifting Ontario away from punishment, toward prevention.