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The 9th District Co-Occurring Court Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $549,992)

The Missouri 9th Circuit Judicial Court has seen a 46.6% increase in annual Drug Court cases since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that a full 80% of all defendants participating in the 9th District’s current Drug Court have an undiagnosed/misdiagnosed mental health disorder; the current Drug Court lacks the resources to adequately address these co-occurring disorders. To do so, the County of Linn Missouri 9th Judicial Circuit Court will establish a Co-Occurring Treatment Court. Contracting with Preferred Family Healthcare to provide evidence-based behavioral health services, the proposed project will target young adults aged 18-26 without felonies and who have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. The proposed Court will provide court-mandated treatment services and will increase access to behavioral health training for court staff and partnering clinicians.

Project-specific training curricula and other professional development resources will be created by project staff members. A total of four collection data points will be utilized (intake, 3-month, 6-month, and discharge). 3- and 6-month follow-up rates are expected to exceed 80%. Participants’ individual baseline and incremental progress toward identified outcomes will be tracked through Preferred’s electronic health record system. Status reports and continued treatment service recommendations for each participant will be submitted to the Court.

Serving co-occurring defendants in the Missouri Counties of Linn, Chariton, and Sullivan, a minimum of 71 individuals will receive co-occurring treatment services. A minimum of 50% of all eligible defendants who have successfully graduated from the program will have the ability to change their plea and have charges dropped. 60% will demonstrate improved global functioning; 65% will show improved mental health; 60% will report reduced substance use/continued abstinence at six-month period follow-up; and 60% with history of trauma will report a reduction in trauma-related symptoms at six-month follow-up.

This proposal addresses program-specific priority areas throughout the narrative, including “proposed interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism” and “promote effective strategies to expand the use of mental health courts and related services.” Further, the Court has requested priority consideration for Advancing DOJ Priorities and High-Poverty Areas/Persistent Poverty Counties.

Date Created: December 7, 2021