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City/county task force to create action plan to improve criminal justice and mental health systems

Aug 05, 2021 6:00 am

Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media a new task force will examine recommendations contained in a report on the criminal justice and mental health system in Columbia County. The Columbia County Sequential Intercept Mapping Report was released in May and its findings identified gaps in the county’s mental health and substance use disorder services and made recommendations on how to improve them. The report also made recommendations for how to prevent people from cycling in and out of incarceration, homelessness and hospitalization. The report was generated by county and city of Hudson officials in conjunction with the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice as part of Mayor Kamal Johnson’s plan for criminal justice reform. The city's corporate counsel, Cheryl Roberts, is the executive director of the Greenburger Center. The task force is made up of public officials and people who work with mental health, substance abuse and criminal justice programs. Half of the task force members were appointed by county Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell, and half by Johnson's office. The group will meet over the next six months to create an action plan based on the recommendations contained in the report. A primary recommendation is the creation of a wellness hub that has a detox center and other services at the same location. Another recommendation is to eliminate local motels for emergency housing, replacing them with supportive housing, including a 30 to 40-bed homeless shelter. Roberts will facilitate the task force, for which the Greenburger Center will compensate her. Note: Johnson is a volunteer WGXC on-air programmer. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.