Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $548,885)
Funding for the Summit County Justice and Mental Health Collaboration will support a new, two-pronged collaborative project between Summit County HOPE Mental Health Court and mental health agency Community Support Services. This project is designed to meet the needs of individuals with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse who come into contact with the justice system in Summit County, Ohio with urban center Akron. The project will simultaneously meet the needs of HOPE Court by adding new court-based mental health services provided for participants by partner Community Support Services (CSS), while also meeting the needs of the community by launching efforts to share this project and its results, foster collaboration, and educate. These prongs will supplement and complement one another, and they align with the objectives from this solicitation.
The first goal of this project is to meet immediate participant need by expanding HOPE Court’s capacity to best serve preliminarily qualified offenders with severe mental illness who are at risk of recidivism. This will be accomplished by (a) hiring a new dual diagnosis coordinator through partner CSS who will be dedicated to HOPE Court and serve approximately 40 participants during the project period and (b) expanding peer support and including a new female peer support worker through partner CSS to serve approximately 20 female participants (or participants who are uncomfortable working with a male peer support worker) during the project period.
The second goal of this project is to facilitate community-wide efforts within the justice system to connect individuals with MI or CMISA with treatment and social services through data collection, education, and planning. This will be accomplished by implementing interns; conducting an independent evaluation of the project and community need at the intersection of mental health and justice; and conducting internal trainings, external trainings, and community presentations on this project and collaboration between the justice and mental health arenas.
Project deliverables will include data sets, a report, trainings and community education, newsletters, an MOU, outreach materials, policies/procedures/protocols, a planning and implementation guide, and a sustainability plan.