The Forsyth County Stepping Up Initiative was created in 2015 to answer the National Association of Counties (NACo) Stepping Up Initiative to reduce the number of persons with mental illness in jails. The first project focused on women who were incarcerated in the Forsyth County Detention Center. The Stepping Up Process to End Recidivism or SUPER program has provided screening and transition planning to 304 women since February 2017, most of these while in custody. For those who are accepted into the program, they receive support and case management for at least 1 year once released into the community. Seven women have successfully graduated from the program. Others have still benefited from linkage to treatment, entitlements, and housing assistance, among other resources.
In June 2019, the Forsyth County Commissioners approved the expansion of the program to also focus on the male population. The goals of SUPER is to link the male participants to all identified resources, successfully graduate participants one year post-release, and reduce the likelihood of participants returning to the criminal justice system. As with the women, primary referral sources will be the detention center and Forsyth County probation. Community referrals will be considered as well.
We are excited to announce the SUPER program will formally begin accepting referrals for males on January 6, 2020!