Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $354,131)
Project Title: Anderson County Mental Health Court
Lead Applicant: Anderson County, SC
SC 10th Judicial Circuit Court
SC 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office
Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center
Anderson County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
Upstate Warrior Solutions
Anderson County Veterans Affairs
Area Served: Anderson County; Population 203,718
Requested JMHCP Funding: $354,131; no previous JMHCP funding
In keeping with Section 14-31-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, stating “divert qualifying mentally ill offenders away from the criminal justice system and into appropriate treatment programs, thereby reserving prison space for violent criminals and others for whom incarceration is the only reasonable alternative”, Anderson County and its Project Partners propose the development of a Mental Health Court. The intentions of the Anderson County Mental Health Court program are as follows:
Improve the court’s ability to identify, assess, evaluate, and monitor offenders with mental illness
Create effective linkages between criminal justice and mental health systems;
Engage participants in treatment and link them with high-quality services;
Decrease criminal justice system interaction by reducing annualized jail days and arrest rates among offenders with mental illness.
The proposed court will be based on existing operational infrastructure and supported by a Mental Health Court Program Coordinator working in tandem with a Program Clinician. As an added program component, veterans will be given priority for program participation, in recognition of that group’s greater potential need for mental health services.
The Mental Health Court is intended to address these USDOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance Program Priority Areas:
Promote effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with mental illness and to public safety.
Promote effective strategies to expand the use of mental health courts and related services.
Propose interventions that have been shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism.
Use validated assessment tools to identify and prioritize individuals with a moderate or high risk of recidivism and a need for treatment services