Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $550,000)
MHMR of Tarrant County (MHMR) seeks to establish the Tarrant County Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (TC-JMHCP).The priority areas will be addressed by providing coordination with local agencies to prerelease and reentry information, assistance and resources, along with related interventions to each program participant to assist with community reintegration and service continuity.
As the third-largest county in Texas with more than 2.1 million citizens, there is a high demand for efficient collaboration among key personnel who work with defendants with mental illness (MI) or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse (CMISA) and frequent law enforcement-involved encounters. The purpose of the TC-JMHCP to expand recovery support services and treatment services to offenders and high recidivists with MI/CMISA needs who have been referred to the Mental Health Bond Docket (MHBD). Within the past 17 months, only 3.4% of offenders screened for MHBD were placed into the program. The TC-JMHCP will also focus on individuals with moderate to high public safety risks. To aid in reducing both recidivism and jail overcrowding, there is an imperative need for necessary treatment options in a proactive communicative manner among mental health professionals and legal personnel who encounter this population.
By partnering with the Tarrant County Administration and the Tarrant County Criminal Courts, MHMR will provide mental health treatment and case management services as diversion incentives for defendants who have been referred to the MHBD. The EBPs to be utilized include Motivational Interviewing (MI), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Seeking Safety. Also, TC-JMHCP will use a sequential intercept mapping (SIM) process to help identify and improve communication and expertise among key personnel to better serve the individuals in MHBD. Lastly, reentry and prerelease services will be provided in-kind by existing designated jail-based staff to include release planning materials, connection to community resources, community reentry and reintegration assistance, and coordination with staff and service providers providing ongoing services and case oversight back in the community.
MHMR will measure the accomplishments of the initiative through continuous data collection and data analysis to ensure the project is actively working toward the intended goals. The data reports will examine the participant’s frequencies regarding re-arrest, incarcerations, relapse, and drug and alcohol tests through pre-and-post-release measurements.