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Durham County to Host Stepping Up Day of Action Celebration

Post Date:05/14/2018 5:00 PM

Durham, NC – Millions of individuals with mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression, are housed in federal and state prisons, and detention facilities around the country. Once incarcerated, people with mental illnesses tend to remain incarcerated longer and are at a higher risk of re-incarceration than people without these illnesses.


On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Durham County will recognize the nationally celebrated Stepping Up Day of Action. The local celebration will include remarks from national, state and local officials along with a tour of the mental health unit at the Durham County Detention Facility. The media is invited to attend the event and should RSVP at by 10 a.m. on the day of the event. The event is not open to the public.


Durham County has advocated for mental health services and supports for many years including the approval of funding to support mental health staff in the County’s Detention Facility for more than 20 years. The County has also invested services such as the Mental Health Court Diversion Program enrolling 22 individuals in the therapeutic diversion model last year. The model is used when mental illness is identified as a factor in the commission of a person’s crime. Additional mental health services related to criminal justice are funneled through the Durham Criminal Justice Resource Center and Alliance Behavioral Healthcare both of which are accessible following discharge from jail.


For additional information about The Stepping Up Initiative, visit To learn more about the County’s response to the call to recognize the day of action, email the Director of the Criminal Justice Resource Center at



About The Stepping Up Initiative

The Stepping Up is an initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails (Stepping Up). The initiative was launched in May 2015 by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Foundation and The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center. In the three years since the launch, more than 415 counties have passed a resolution or proclamation to join the initiative and committed to creating cross-systems, sustainable plans to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails.