Advancing the Work of Peer Support Specialists in Behavioral Health-Criminal Justice Programming
Source: The Council of State Governments Justice Center
Resource Type: Template or Tool
Focus Population: Peers
Topics: Peer Support
Peer support specialists are often asked to draw on their lived experience with behavioral health conditions and criminal justice involvement to support participants of behavioral health-criminal justice programs. This experience allows them to offer inspiration and model positive behaviors, as well as connect people to needed supports and lead recovery groups, among other benefits. At the same time, implementation challenges can limit their effectiveness. The Council of State Governments Justice Center interviewed peers who work with three Justice and Mental Health Collaboration grantee programs to better understand how to overcome these challenges. This brief highlights four key strategies gleaned from these interviews, which can be used to advance the work of peer support specialists.