U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Set, Measure, Achieve: Stepping Up Guidance to Reach Prevalence Reduction Targets

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2020
5 pages
This instructional resource sponsored by the Stepping Up national initiative guides counties in setting targets for reducing the number of people in jail with serious mental illnesses (SMI).
The first of three steps is to "Set your targets." This step consists of establishing baselines for the desired goals. Stepping Up recommends setting baselines for each of four key measures: 1) the number of jail bookings of people with SMI, 2) their length of stay in jail, 3) connections to treatment for them, and 4) their rates of recidivism. In addition to these measures, the establishment of an overall baseline prevalence rate is recommended. This is the overall percentage of the jail population that has an SMI. The second recommended step for reducing the number of jail inmates with SMI is to "measure your progress" in reducing the number of jail inmates with SMI. A strategy is outlined for data collection and analysis that will implement this step. The third step is to "achieve results." By setting targets and measuring progress in reducing the number of jail inmates with SMI, a county will be better positioned to identify high-impact strategies that can be implemented or expanded to reach reduction goals. It will also enable county leaders to prepare data-driven requests for local, state, federal, and philanthropic support.

Date Published: September 1, 2020