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Franklin County Municipal Court Mental Health Court Enhancement

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $421,126)

The Franklin County Municipal Court will partner with Ohio Guidestone, a local behavioral health provider, to enhance and expand capacity and services offered by its Mental Health Court, entitled Learning to Identify and Negotiate Change (LINC). The LINC program is a treatment court that specifically addresses the needs of individuals who come before the Court for a misdemeanor offense, and have a significant mental health diagnosis as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DSM-V).  Co-occurring disorders, such as substance use, are common.

Funds would add an additional Coordinator position to the program; retain and expand Peer Support Services to 40 hours per week and contracted group sessions facilitated by Ohio Guidestone for a newly created low risk/high need track for the LINC program. Funds would also support trauma informed yoga classes for Specialized Docket participants, the creation and integration of Specialized Dockets components into the Court’s Probation case management system, and the translation of all Specialized Dockets forms into Spanish, Somali and Nepali. All of these enhancements would bring the program into better alignment with NADCP best practices and the risk needs and responsivity principle of community supervision. Approximately 350-400 participants will be served by these programs.

The service area is Franklin County, which encompasses the state capital of Columbus and its many suburbs. Columbus is the largest metropolitan area in Franklin County with an estimated population of 1,316,756 residents. The demographics of the service area are 66.8% White, 23.8% Black, and 5.8% Hispanic.

This project will address three priority areas: 1) promote effective strategies to expand the use of mental health courts and related services; 2) propose interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism; and 3) use validated assessment tools to identify and prioritize individuals with a moderate or high risk of recidivism and a need for treatment services.

Date Created: December 2, 2021