Newsletter of the Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee
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Provincial HSJCC
January 2016 Newsletter 


Letter from the Co-Chair
Since our last Human Services and Justice newsletter in October 2015, things have not slowed down for the HSJCC!  But, with strong momentum often comes big results.
One of the most significant achievements of the Provincial HSJCC in 2015 was the successful delivery of the conference, “Mobilizing Communities: Promoting Resiliency, Sustaining Recovery and Restoring Justice,” the culmination of almost two years of planning by an extremely dedicated group. The conference, which spanned November 16-18, had 435 delegates in attendance from 130 organizations and 5 government ministries. The conference included 51 presentations and workshops coving a broad spectrum of topics related to mental health and justice and reached 179,672 users on Twitter.

In addition to the conference, the Provincial HSJCC has hosted three webinars since November. The most recent webinar, “Traumatic Brain Injury and the Criminal Justice System” had over 90 participants, and all webinars received very positive evaluation feedback. Stay tuned for more exciting and informative webinars.

For the third time, the HSJCC was successful in our application to Evidence Exchange Network’s Community of Interest (COI) initiative. The HSJCC network will receive knowledge broker support until December 2017. This partnership with EENet also provides us with more opportunities to share the work of the HSJCC Network with other sectors and COIs.  

We are very pleased to announce that a vendor has been selected to re-design and host the Provincial HSJCC website. The new website will receive a dramatic facelift and be a valuable information portal for anyone seeking mental health and justice information. The website will be launched in March of 2016.

From September 2015 to January 2016 local and regional HSJCCs completed a priority setting exercise which will directly inform the 2016-2019 workplan for the Provincial HSJCC and the secretariat.  The workplan is expected to be finalized by June 2016.

Two key projects are currently well underway. The Mental Health Court Project, which seeks to understand the structure and function of mental health courts in Ontario, is currently collecting data on the various mental health courts in operation. The Police- Emergency Department Project , which seeks to decrease wait times, and improve partnerships  pertaining to police accompanied ED visits, had its first meeting on January 14, 2016.  This partnership project with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) has garnered a great deal of interest with over 20 stakeholders present for the first meeting, all with the shared vision of developing a framework and action plan to improve police-hospital transitions for Ontarians experiencing a mental health crisis.

It is exciting to see the work of the Provincial HSJCC continue to build momentum as we enter 2016. This will undoubtedly be an important year for the HSJCC network as we embark on new projects and continue to seek service improvements and coordination for Ontarians who find themselves involved with the mental health and justice systems. 
Michael Dunn
Provincial Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee
Update on the Provincial HSJCC 2016-2019 Priority Setting Exercise
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Provincial HSJCC 2016-2019 Priority Setting Exercise Survey! We heard from all 14 Regional HSJCCs, several local HSJCCs, and 14 of the HSJCC Network partners, providing us with an incredible amount of information that is helping us shape the workplan of the Provincial HSJCC over the next three years.

The survey responses enabled us to better understand the current trends, challenges, and opportunities facing the HSJCC Network. There were five main areas we asked about through the survey. The first was a request for the Regional HSJCC to conduct a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis with their members to get a good sense of what is working well, and opportunities for change within each committee. The second area was a request for HSJCCs and partners to review the Provincial HSJCC mandate to ensure it is still relevant to the needs of Ontarians. A third area that was a question asking about current provincial, regional and local initiatives impacting on the work of HSJCCs and partners across the province. The fourth area of questions was asking partners and Regional HSJCCs to comment on their working relationship with the Provincial HSJCC, and provided an opportunity for respondents to add suggestions of functions that this committee could play in the future.

The final portion of the survey was around current challenges of HSJCCs and partners. This portion of the survey will be key in determining the priorities of the Provincial HSJCC. There were eight major trends for challenges facing the HSJCC Network including: supportive/affordable housing; release from custody and discharge issues; cross sectoral collaboration and cooperation; meeting complex needs clients; First Nation Inuit Metis and Racialized Populations; Youth and Senior issues; access to crisis and psychiatric services; and staff training, safety and education.

The Provincial HSJCC discussed the outcomes of the survey on January 19 and a detailed work plan with projects and additional functions for the HSJCC Secretariat will be created over the next few months. It is expected that the work plan will be completed by May 2016, and a webinar will be hosted for the HSJCC Network on the new projects for the Provincial HSJCC in June 2016. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Regional and Local HSJCC and HSJCC partners on this exercise! 

Provincial HSJCC Continues Collaboration with EENet through Community of Interest Initiative 
The Provincial HSJCC is pleased to continue its collaboration with the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) Community of Interest (CoI) initiative. The goals of the HSJCC CoI include: (1) identifying and sharing exemplary practices in the human services and justice sectors, (2) sharing information not only across the HSJCC Network, but also with organizations and sectors that are currently not aware of the work of the HSJCC Network, and (3) identifying provincial service and policy issues, and making recommendations for addressing these issues. The work of the HSJCC CoI will increase and strengthen collaborations between provincial Ministries and organizations, and across different sectors.

For a period of two years (Jan 2016-Dec 2017), the HSJCC CoI will receive knowledge broker support from EENet. The Knowledge Broker will facilitate knowledge exchange planning, assist with creating knowledge products, plan and support virtual events, develop an online collaborative space on EENet Connect, and share the work of the HSJCC CoI with other CoIs and relevant stakeholders through various communication outlets. HSJCC and EENet will work together to monitor and evaluate all CoI activities.  

EENet is a mental health and addictions knowledge exchange network that connects stakeholders across Ontario. The purpose of EENet’s CoI initiative is to bring together diverse stakeholders who share a common aim to exchange information, obtain answers to problems, and/or improve their understanding of a subject. This collaborative work takes place through different knowledge exchange activities and forums.
CAMH’s Justice Collaboratives Continue on Their System Change Journey 
Trauma-informed practice in Kenora-Rainy River
The Kenora-Rainy River Youth Justice Service Collaborative has designed a trauma-informed intervention to meet the needs of local youth. The intervention uses multiple evidence-based components including:
  • Training and education in trauma-informed practice to help service providers effectively interact with youth and their families (480 participants trained to date)
  • the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs Short Screener (GAIN-SS) to identify youth in the justice system who have mental health, addictions, or cognitive needs (100 participants trained to date)
  • A system navigation map developed in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Kenora, to help individuals working in the youth justice system make referrals, and to help youth and their families navigate the system
  • A trauma-informed protocol that incorporates all of these components and commits agencies to working together to better coordinate the services they provide

Dr. Ed Connors explaining the Wampum Belt at a training session

The Intersections Worker listened to me and talked to my son. Yes, that was the biggest piece. And now we have help, and it is working.
Intersections: Right support, right provider, right time   
 Intersections, developed by Champlain Youth Justice Service Collaborative, is an early intervention model that focuses on improving navigation and coordination of services for youth with suspected mental health, developmental disabilities, and/or substance use issues who are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system. The goal of this initiative is to improve well-being and reduce involvement with police.

Since January 2015, three of five communities, including 23 police services, have launched Intersections. Over 160 young people and their families have been referred to community services that fit their unique needs and strengths. According to a family member, “the Intersections Worker listened to me and talked to my son. Yes, that was the biggest piece. And now we have help, and it is working.”
Niagara Youth Court Screening Initiative
The Niagara Youth Court Screening Initiative (NYCSI), launched in St. Catharines on May, 2015, to help direct youth to appropriate services and supports in the community. NYCSI was developed by the Niagara Youth Justice Collaborative and consists of a small team of service providers who are present at youth court and meet with all youth making a first appearance in court.

This “screening team” uses an evidence-based tool and a supplementary form to screen youth for mental health, addictions, and other concerns (such as housing, education, employment, and acquired brain injury). Based on the screening results, the NYCSI team connects youth with appropriate services and supports in the community.

To date, NYCSI has seen 50 youth. Over half of them have mental health and/or addiction issues and were referred to the appropriate supports in the community. Referrals were also made for other services, such as housing, anger management, and Indigenous services. 

Fred Victor Women’s 24/7 Drop-in Program
Justice walk-in service at the Fred Victor Women’s 24/7 Drop-in Program in Toronto
The Toronto Justice Service Collaborative is developing a justice walk-in service for women at the newly-opened Fred Victor Women’s 24/7 Drop-in Program. This initiative will provide women with justice-related services including legal resources, information, and supports. The service will use a partnership-based model, with multiple organizations providing staff and facilitating referrals. There will also be peer support, community information sessions, and warm referrals.  
For more information on the work of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s Systems Improvement through Service Collaboratives initiative at the Provincial System Support Program:
Crisis Intervention Training for the Ontario Provincial Police
Police are increasingly called upon to respond to persons with mental illness who are in crisis, and it is often challenging for these police officers to provide the most effective and compassionate response. Several inquests have focused on the need for police to receive more mental health training, focusing specifically on de-escalation techniques whenever possible. In response to this growing need to provide the police with mental health training, in 2006, police officers started participating in a program called Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). This training program was adapted for the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), and has been developed into an accredited Provincial Police Academy course.

A few objectives of the OPP`s CIT program include, (1) increasing awareness and understanding of police officers on mental illness, (2) developing and enhancing the officer skills in interviewing and communicating with people suffering from mental illness, and (3) increasing the officers’ knowledge of community resources to assist the mentally ill in the community and their family members. The CIT will provide the skills, tools and tactics for officers to safely de-escalate a person in a mental health crisis, including alternate defusing strategies. To date, nearly 700 front line OPP officers have received CIT training. The CIT program is strengthening relationships between local law enforcement and community partners, which in turn allows for a timely, coordinated response to help individuals who are experiencing a mental health related crisis. 
Provincial HSJCC Hosts a Webinar on an Innovative Court Discharge Program
Eighty participants tuned in to a webinar on Dec. 7, 2015 to learn about a successful court discharge protocol implemented at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) and co-developed by CMHA Champlain East. The webinar was the last in the 2015 series hosted by the Provincial Human Services Justice Coordinating Committee.

The overall goal of the court discharge program at OCDC is to help keep individuals with a mental illness out of the criminal justice system. 

The partnership with CMHA Champlain East ensures individuals with mental illnesses are assessed properly and are able to participate in the proper discharge planning strategies. In order to participate in the court discharge program, the individual must be 18 years or older, have a mental health disorder and must have been incarcerated at OCDC.

Upon admission to OCDC, a team of health professionals, including a psychologist, and a mental health nurse are available to assess the individual. The court discharge program provides the proper support individuals with mental illness need to navigate the justice system.
The specific objectives of the court discharge program include:
  • Providing ongoing services for inmates with mental illness prior to discharge
  • Ensuring personal property is released properly for inmates who live with a mental illness
  • Identifying gaps in services in court discharge processes 
To learn more about this innovative program at OCDC, the webinar and the presentation can be found here
Bill 113: Police Record Checks Reform Act 
On December 1, 2015, Bill 113: Police Record Checks Reform Act (PRCRA) was passed following a third reading in the Ontario Legislature. The Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Honourable Yasir Naqvi, first introduced the Bill on June 3, 2015 and it proceeded quickly from there. The PRCRA outlines what information can be disclosed as well as the required procedures on requesting, conducting and disclosing police record check information.

This was a major victory for the mental health sector and a proud moment for CMHA Ontario as key contributors to the drafting of the legislation, along with other groups such as the Police Record Checks Coalition (PRCC). The instrumental changes to prohibit disclosure of non-criminal police records and mental health information will mean a significant reduction in stigma and discrimination. Police records will no longer be an automatic barrier to the pursuit of employment, education and volunteer work for affected populations.



For more information on Bill 113 visit:
Join the 2017 HSJCC Conference Planning Committee
The Provincial HSJCC is looking for member volunteers to help plan the 2017 Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee conference! This is an excellent opportunity to help shape an exciting, growing and unique learning event where multiple sectors from across Ontario share information on the intersections between human services and justice.
Main Duties of the HSJCC Conference Planning Committee Members:
  • Attend conference planning committee teleconferences (about 1 per month)
  • Participate in the conference workshop/presentation abstract submission review and selection process
  • Provide input into content development of the conference program (identify themes, streams of programing, key note speakers, etc.)
  • Identify and seek sponsorship opportunities for the HSJCC Conference
If you or a colleague would be interested in helping out with the event, please complete the survey below to let us know of your contact details and availability for an initial meeting.  
2017 HSJCC Conference Planning Committee interest survey:  
*Please complete this survey by February 1, 2016 if you are interested in participating.
Highlights from the 2015 HSJCC Conference can be found here
With Support from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division
With Support from EENet
Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Copyright © 2016 Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee, All rights reserved.

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