All Sheriffs' Authority 2019 Mental Health Report: Recommendations

The National Sheriffs' Association's All Sheriffs' Authority is a collaborative effort to study and respond to issues and challenges facing the nation's sheriffs.

Read the Full Report

Read NSA's letter to Attorney General Barr

Members of the All Sheriffs' Authority were convened from urban and rural areas and presented diverse perspectives on how the mental health crisis is manifested in their respective communities. The sheriffs articulated their unique challenges, concerns, needs, and current efforts in response to the crisis.

The consensus of the meeting was clear: The federal government must address the issues that contribute to individuals committing criminal acts, including mental illness, substance use and co-occurring disorders. The nation's sheriffs are committed to using their unique role to advocate for increased mental health treatment and other necessary support services. Because sheriffs are elected officers, sworn to uphold the Constitution, they bring a unique capacity to address this crisis. As the chief law enforcement officers in their communities, sheriffs have the capacity, drive, leadership skills, and ability to convene, and authority to develop, realistic and solution-based programs to address the mental health challenges. 

The nation's sheriffs must be provided the resources necessary to lead this effort. As such, the National Sheriffs' Association requests support for the recommendations outlined in the attached report:

  1. Establish a National Policy Initiative to Increase Education and Raise Awareness of the Nation's Mental Health Crisis and its Impact on Law Enforcement, Jails, Behavioral Health Systems, and the Safety of our Communities;
  2. Establish Integrated Crisis Response, Diversion and Jail-Based Mental Health Services;
  3. Develop and Support Cohesive and Evidence Based Reentry Programs;
  4. Include Opportunities and Strategies for Sheriffs, Mental Health Leaders, the Private Sector and Community Stakeholders to Contribute to Federal and State Policy Development;
  5. Fund Enhanced Training for Correctional Staff Regarding Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders;
  6. Increase Resources for Rural Communities; and,
  7. Continue the Support for DOJ's Jails Technical Assistance and Training Support Working Group.

Read the Full Report

Read NSA's letter to Attorney General Barr