Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committees: A partner in system coordination

November 14, 2013

Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committees (HSJCCs) are an established provincial, regional and local network dedicated to planning resources and service delivery among human, health and criminal justice services organizations. The network has advocated for coordinated resources and services for people who are in conflict with the law for over 15 years. Part of the Service Collaborative initiative’s approach to system change is to work with existing networks, like the HSJCCs, to augment Service Collaborative membership and ensure activities build on current initiatives. Collaborating with HSJCCs locally, regionally and provincially will be crucial to the success of the Justice Service Collaboratives.

“HSJCCs have been historically very involved in coordinating and collaborating health and justice services. I see the Justice Service Collaboratives as a natural extension to that,” says Sandie Leith, Director of Clinical Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association Sault Ste. Marie Branch and co-chair of the Provincial HSJCC. “The Justice Service Collaboratives will be able to focus on key issues and come up with some creative solutions to problems. The HSJCC network will interface with the Service Collaborative initiative at all levels to keep track of how things are going, and to support the implementation process.”

The HSJCCs and the Justice Service Collaboratives share a common goal: to improve transitions at key juncture points between the justice system and human services. Because of this overlapping mandate, members of the local, regional and provincial HSJCC networks are working closely with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to implement the Justice Service Collaboratives, and align complementary objectives.

Participating in the Champlain Youth Justice Collaborative, for example, has been an opportunity for regional HSJCC representatives to build relationships and learn more about youth justice issues. Historically, the regional HSJCC in Champlain has primarily focused on adults. With the Champlain Justice Collaborative’s focus on youth, HSJCC representatives who participate on the Collaborative are expanding their network beyond their traditional adult focus.

The Justice Service Collaboratives will continue to benefit from the expertise and knowledge of HSJCC members throughout implementation of their system interventions. For more information on the HSJCCs and to access their extensive resource database, visit their website at www.hsjcc.on.ca.