Stepping Up: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails

Each year, an estimated 2 million people with serious mental illnesses are admitted to jails across the nation. Jails are now housing more people with mental illnesses than psychiatric hospitals.

The Stepping Up Initiative is a national movement to help keep people with mental illness out of jail and on the path to recovery. More than 300 U.S. counties have stepped up to join the initiative, including Orange County, California: OC-Stepping-Up-Initiative-Report

To learn more about criminal justice in America, visit The Council of State Governments Justice Center a national nonprofit organization that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government.

Staff provides practical, nonpartisan advice and consensus-driven strategies—informed by available evidence—to increase public safety and strengthen communities.