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A Project for Reducing Recidivism Among Adults with
Moderate to Severe Behavioral Health Diagnoses in the El Paso County Jail



Mailing Address                                                 Service Address
AspenPointe                                                        El Paso County Criminal Justice Center
875 W. Moreno Avenue                                         2739 E. Las Vegas St
Colorado Springs, CO 80905                                 Colorado Springs, CO 80906


Program Contact

Kristin Meisner, (719) 426-1736





In the last decade, jails in El Paso County have experienced a dramatic rise in the number of inmates with serious mental illness. Unfortunately, the El Paso County Jail, has limited resources to provide the longterm and often intensive behavioral health services needed by this population. During their incarceration period in the County Jail, inmates with mental illness receive psychiatric care and medications provided by jail mental health staff. Prior to the initiation of this SB 97 project in late 2007, the release of those inmates who could not or chose to not continue behavioral health care after incarceration marked the end of any psychiatric stabilization attained in jail. They were released back into the community, were often homeless, and quickly abused substances and/or decompensated and entered the criminal justice system again. Through this project, these individuals receive tailored outreach and interventions to become engaged in behavioral health treatment and receive services that reduce their risk of recidivism.

Program Description:

Mental health staff members at the El Paso County Jail identify individuals in the target population that
are eligible for the project, and refer them to a project clinician/case manager. Thus, jail behavioral health personnel perform the first behavioral health evaluation, based on DSM IV standards, on all potential participants before they are referred to the project. After project referral, the AspenPointe clinician uses a standardized intake assessment tool to assess past and present symptomology, psychosocial history, and current DSM IV diagnosis.


This project targets those inmates in the County Jail with the following characteristics:


  • Ages 18 and older, males and females, no exclusions based on race or ethnicity
  • Diagnosis of mental illness, which may co-occur with a substance use disorder
  • History of recidivism in the jail system within the past 12 months
  • History of being placed on a mental health alert while in El Paso County Jail
  • Pre- or Post-Trial, Pre- or Post-Sentenced” No exclusion based on charges
  • Not currently in treatment for behavioral health or substance abuse problems

Based on the assessment information, a treatment plan is written. A project clinician/case manager
continues to provide services to clients until their services have been taken over by AspenPointe in  partnership with key community supports. The goal is to have a successful transition from stabilization in this phase to services at the mental health center within ~90 days. The type and duration of services depends on the individual needs of each client. These services may include psychiatric assessment; psychotropic medications; group, individual, or family therapy; case management; 24 hour acute stabilization and detox; assistance with benefit acquisition, housing, and/or other social services
such as medical care; or vocational services.



Website: http://www.aspenpointe.org/