Prisons and jails have become our country’s de facto mental health institutions. Our criminal justice system has become a revolving door for vulnerable people who need treatment but instead face imprisonment and conditions that exacerbate their afflictions. Learn about some promising reform initiatives – and submit your own idea!
Helping Those with Mental Illness Find Treatment, Not Incarceration
Prisons and jails have become our country's de facto mental health institutions. Our criminal justice system has become a revolving door for vulnerable people who need treatment but instead face imprisonment and conditions that exacerbate their afflictions. Learn about some promising reform initiatives - and submit your own idea!
Helping Children Impacted by Mental Illness
Mental illness, the theme of our 2016 Better Government Competition, impacts all of us. It takes a toll on our education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems, and affects our economy. We cannot end mental illness, but we can do much…
2016 Better Government Competition: Improving the Quality & Access to Care for Individuals Living with Mental Illness
Pioneer Institute’s Better Government Competition is a citizens’ ideas contest that seeks out and rewards innovative solutions to public sector problems, with different focus areas each year. The Competition grand prize winner receives $10,000; four runners-up receive $1,000 each, and…
2015 Winner: Reducing Recidivism through Education
Learn about the unique education model of the Five Keys Charter School, which provides full-time education to adult inmates and is independently designed and operated by the San Francisco Sheriff's Department,. The program includes community college dual-enrollment programs, vocational training…
2015 Runner Up: Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet Programs
Discover a specialized delivery model for high school curriculum developed for at-risk youths interested in a law enforcement career. The LA Magnet Schools provides a better understanding of law enforcement through coursework, training, mentoring, work and volunteer opportunities and also provides the Los Angeles Police Department with a high quality recruiting resource while establishing a bond between juveniles and their local police.
2015 Runner Up: Paying for Success in Community Corrections
Read about this original approach to community corrections that directly builds the performance goal of recidivism reduction into contracts with privately operated halfway houses, providing financial incentives for recidivism reduction and penalties for increases in recidivism. The use of contractual recidivism performance targets helps to reduce recidivism by making community corrections facilities more accountable for public safety outcomes.
2015 Runner Up: Employing Intelligence-Driven Prosecution to Improve Crime Prevention
Learn about an innovative partnership model that helps reduce and prevent crime by improving the timely and accurate sharing of criminal intelligence throughout the District Attorney's Office and among all law enforcement agencies. This unique approach to information-sharing allows for…
2015 Runner Up: The Returning Home Ohio Pilot Project
Learn about a program that combines affordable, permanent housing with a range of supportive services that help vulnerable populations with the complex challenges of homelessness and incarceration. The pilot provides housing and services critical to the maintenance of recovery and…
2015 Special Recognition: The Ex-Offender Workforce Entrepreneur Project
Discover how an innovative housing and treatment program uses small farm-driven entrepreneurial enterprise to improve prisoner recovery, skillset development, and workforce integration.
2015 Special Recognition: A Multi-Agency Approach to Re-purpose Correctional Facilities
Find out how Massachusetts can A repurpose its corrections facilities to accommodate an expansion of reentry programming and maximize utilization of DOC resources.
Pioneer Institute’s 2015 Better Government Competition Awards
Watch Video Highlights & Read the Compendium of Winning Entries from Our 2015 Better Government Awards Gala
Mental illness, the theme of our 2016 Better Government Competition, impacts all of us. It takes a toll on our education, healthcare, and criminal justice systems, and affects our economy. We cannot end mental illness, but we can do much more to ensure that those who live with it receive better treatment. Preventive mental health … Continued
There is always a bristled excitement among Pioneer staff and supporters before the topic of the annual Better Government Competition is announced. The organization seems to have a knack for selecting the most critical public policy issues. When the topic of “Improving Mental Health” was chosen, the importance resonated immediately. It may be more relevant … Continued