Case Study: Bexar County, Texas
Bexar County is a Familiar Faces Initiative (FFI) Peer-Learning Site that models effective cross-sector data sharing and familiar faces programming to divert residents with behavioral health conditions such as mental illness and/or substance use disorders from jail to treatment. In the early 2000s, Bexar County was facing a severe jail overcrowding problem and the possibility of having to build new jail beds. To best serve community members, the county transformed its approach to develop an integrated behavioral health continuum of care and criminal legal system.
Bexar County strategically addresses emergency department and jail bookings system-wide through cross-system data sharing and care coordination, as well as supportive housing and community-based treatment. In FY21-22, county-operated behavioral health systems assessed 18,596 people and provided access to services to meet all their social determinants of health, improving long-term outcomes. This case study highlights the Bexar County departments and programs supporting familiar faces and enhancing public safety.