Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $303,000)
The proposed project is for technical assistance to determine the viability of a veterans’ mental health treatment court (veterans’ MHC) in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The primary activities of the project will entail a policy consultant, aided by a data analyst and administrative specialist, conducting research, compiling data, seeking and determining funding availability, working with court staff, and meeting with relevant stakeholders to determine the need, readiness, successful development, and sustainability of a veterans’ MHC. A grants specialist will also support this proposed project by managing the overall budget and reports. The expected outcome of this project is for the consultant to generate a comprehensive report, which will include a rough estimate of the degree of need for a veterans’ MHC based on their survey of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota; assessment of community interest and readiness (i.e. how the court would align with existing criminal justice system, veterans affairs, and treatment providers); compilation of literature review and emerging data regarding best practices; essential components of a successful veterans’ MHC; and key elements of capacity building. The proposed project is intended to benefit veterans who have come in contact with the justice system due to a mental illness connected to their military service.
The proposed project is important for the successful implementation of a veterans’ mental health court. The project will identify the target population and issues that may bolster or impede the viability of a specialty court like a veterans’ mental health court. The service area will be the CNMI, namely Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.
The total project timeline is approximately one year.