A community education guide on establishing Medicaid-funded peer support services and a trained peer support workforce. The document was prepared by Larry Fricks of the Appalachian Consulting Group with funding from SAMSHA.
To meet the needs of either jail diversion or re-entry programming initiatives, a number of state and local authori¬ties have supported the development of a new ‘forensic peer specialist’ workforce. This workforce is comprised of individuals with a history of mental illness and/or incarceration, who have achieved a reasonable degree of stability in their own lives and are now employed by local government and nonprofit agencies to provide individualized support to others with psychiatric disabilities and criminal justice involvements.
An article by Rowe, Bellamy, Baranoski, Wieland, O'Connel, Benedict
and Sells (2007) which appeared in Psychiatric Services online. The
article compares two interventions (a community-oriented program that
incorporates peer support "wrap-arounds", and a standard clinical
treatment) designed to reduce criminality, alcohol use, and drug use
in mentally ill individuals who had criminal charges in the preceding
Includes contact information for the Statewide Forensic Peer Support Specialist Program, a collaborative effort between Drexel University Psychology Dept., Drexel University College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry’s Division of Behavioral Healthcare Education (BHE), the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers Association (PMHCA), and the Center of Excellence.