National Listening Session: COVID-19 Impacts and Innovations Across Justice and Behavioral Health Systems


Counties and cities are on the frontlines for protecting public safety, administering justice and supporting and maintaining the health and well-being of residents. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, jurisdictions are implementing changes to policies and practices within justice and behavioral health to continue to provide these vital services to meet community needs.

Please join Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) on Friday, May 22 at 2 p.m. EDT for a discussion on national and federal justice and behavioral health resources as communities continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. DDJ members will hear from national leaders about available federal resources, but we also want to hear from DDJ communities about the impact of COVID-19 on their efforts to serve frequent utilizers of their health, human services and justice systems. Please come prepared to share innovations and continuing challenges in your communities.


  • Chris Asplen, Executive Director, National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)
  • Ayla Colella, Director, Practice Improvement, National Council on Behavioral Health

Community Discussion Questions:

  • How is your community promoting social distancing within your justice systems? How has it impacted your DDJ work?
  • How has behavioral health service delivery changed as a result of social distancing or a shift to telehealth? What has the impact been on your work with people with mental illness?
  • How are communities making sure that individuals with mental illness being released from jail are getting access to needed services or has creating warm handoffs been a challenge?
  • What is your community’s approach to reopening its justice and behavioral health systems? What policies or procedures within justice and behavioral health is your community considering maintaining after social distancing measures have lifted?