County of Santa Clara to proclaim May 16, 2018 a Stepping Up Day of Action

Initiative is linked to national effort to decrease  the population of adults with mental illnesses in jails


The County of Santa Clara Office of Reentry Services, the Behavioral Health Services Department, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and the local nonprofit Carry the Vision invite the media to attend a variety of events at the Reentry Resource Center focusing on ways the County of Santa Clara is working to reduce the number of adults with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in jail.


Javier Aguirre, Director, County of Santa Clara Office of Reentry Services

County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department representatives

Kathy Forward, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI members living with mental illness

Formerly incarcerated Carry the Vision client who will teach stress reduction techniques


County of Santa Clara Reentry Resource Center Reflective Garden

151 West Mission Street, San Jose, CA 95110​


May 16, 2018

Activities from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

9:30 am - 10:30 am: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training
Interactive Video Simulation Demonstration
The County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Department will provide a demonstration of how law enforcement agents are trained to recognize and effectively interact with people experiencing behavioral health challenges. CIT is a collaborative, community-based, 40-hour course in partnership between Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services and the Office of the Sheriff. This training is designed to decrease the number of people with mental illnesses going to jail and reduce officer time and the use of force at crisis events. It also seeks to reduce injuries (both to people with mental illness and to officers) and improve interaction between law enforcement and mental health services providers.

11:30 am - 1:00 pm: Perspectives of People Living with Mental Illness: What Law Enforcement, County employees and Community Service Providers Need to Know

Brown Bag Panel Discussion with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI members living with mental illness share what it’s like to interact with the criminal justice system and ways our County can reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in our jails.

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm: Carry the Vision Presents: Restorative Practices for Healing

Stress reduction techniques led by a formerly incarcerated client. Participants will gather at the Reentry Center’s brand new Reflective Garden to practice stress reduction techniques and connect with community members. Carry the Vision works with reentry clients, parents and employees in jails, schools, and the workplace teaching meditation, breathing practices, restorative yoga, community dialog circles, and other methods for fostering nonviolent communities.


On January 26, 2016, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails through jail diversion programs and participation in the Stepping Up Initiative.

Approximately two million admissions to jail every year in the U.S. involve people with serious mental illnesses. To better respond to this crisis, county commissioners, supervisors, sheriffs, judges, corrections administrators, public defenders, prosecutors, law enforcement agents, community-based service providers and advocates are collaborating in the national Stepping Up Initiative.


Recognizing the critical role local and state officials play in supporting systems change, the National Association of Counties (NACo), the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and the Council of State Governments Justice Center launched the Stepping Up initiative in May 2015. Stepping Up is a national movement to provide counties with the tools they need to develop cross-systems and data-driven strategies that can lead to measurable reductions in the number of people with mental illnesses in jails.

More than 360 counties have passed a resolution or proclamation to partici­pate in the initiative. With support from public and private entities, the initiative builds on the many innovative and proven practices being implemented across the country.


The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, the fifth largest county in California. With a $6.5 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and 20,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services including public health and environmental protection, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, parks, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need.

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Media ContactMaría Leticia Gómez/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119.

Posted: May 11, 2018

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