News Flash


Posted on: January 26, 2023

Nevada County Named Stepping Up Innovator County

Stepping Up NCSO BH - NewsFlash

Nevada County was named as one of a select group of Stepping Up Innovator Counties in the United States for its expertise in data-driven efforts to keep people with mental illness out of jail and connected to treatment.   

Since the Stepping Up initiative was launched in May 2015, more than 500 counties, including Nevada County, in 43 states, representing 40 percent of the U.S. population, have committed to the Stepping Up goal.

“The partnerships we have here are really phenomenal and why we were nominated as an Innovator County,” said Nevada County Behavioral Health Director Phebe Bell. “We’re always looking at trends on how we can improve outcomes for our residents, but we can’t do it alone. The complexity and intentionality to chip away at our shared goal are what have made this initiative successful over the last seven years.”

Nevada County joined Stepping Up in 2016 and has taken significant steps toward reducing the number of people in its jail who have mental illnesses, such as the creation of the Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) to help de-escalate and connect community members to needed resources and treatment, mental health diversion count, and case management from Behavioral Health and the Public Defender’s Office. Collaboration between Nevada County Behavioral Health, Sheriff’s Office, Probation, District Attorney, and Public Defender has been instrumental in the initiative.

“Whether its services provided by our Mobile Crisis Teams in the field, or mental health services and re-entry planning for incarcerated persons in our correctional facility, the Sheriff’s Office is proud to be a collaborative partner on this innovative team that is dedicated to reducing the number of people with mental illness in our jails,” said Sheriff Shannan Moon.

Nevada County was chosen as one of a small group of Innovator Counties that are using the Stepping Up suggested three-step approach to collect and analyze timely data on the prevalence of people in their jails who have serious mental illnesses (SMI). These steps include establishing a shared SMI definition for their Stepping Up efforts across criminal justice and behavioral health systems, ensuring everyone booked into jail is screened for mental illnesses, and regular reporting on this population.

As an Innovator County, Nevada County will help other counties improve their data collection efforts by participating in training sessions, taking part in presentations, sharing information and experiences through the Stepping Up website, and more. Learn more about Nevada County’s Stepping Up initiative at

Innovator Counties range in size and geographic location from rural Pacific County, WA, which has a population of 22,000, to urban Miami-Dade County, FL, with a population of 2.6 million. To see a list of all Innovator Counties and find out more about Stepping Up, visit

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