Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $309,766)
Johnson County, Kansas is one of the 14 bi-state counties that comprise the Kansas City metropolitan area. It is Kansas’ most populous county with 615,223 residents (2022 est.), comprising over 20% of the state’s population. As of the 2010 census, the largest ethnic groups are White (Non-Hispanic) (79.4%), Hispanic or Latino (7.9%), Asian (5.4%), Black or African American (4.9%), and Two or More Races (2.6%). The county is largely suburban and has the highest median household income and the highest per-capita income in Kansas. Even as one of the wealthiest and healthiest communities in the nation, individuals with mental health disorders (MHDs) or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (MHSUDs) are overrepresented in incarcerated populations and have higher rates of recidivism.
Johnson County has a history of implementing innovative initiatives and fostering a culture of collaboration to bring systemwide improvements to change the way the needs of adult offenders with mental illnesses are addressed. The proposed project addresses the program-specific priority area of promoting effective strategies to expand the use of mental health courts and related services. Utilizing grant funds, Johnson County Mental Health Center (JCMHC) and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office (DA) will work with the District Court to design and implement the Johnson County Mental Health Court.
The project will serve Johnson County, Kansas and the target population will be county residents with charges that are presumptive probation where the individual’s MHDs or MHSUDs caused the criminal behavior. The purpose of the Mental Health Court is to support efforts to divert persons with MHDs or MHSUDs from the criminal justice system by improving mental health services and providing diversion at the earliest possible stage. The goals and expected outcomes are to 1) increase public safety; 2) increase treatment engagement; 3) improve quality of life; 4) use resources more effectively. Primary activities for the project will include:
Establishing a multidisciplinary planning committee
Identifying agency leaders and policymakers to serve as an advisory group
Develop strategies and materials to meet the treatment needs of project participants
Facilitate ongoing training and educational opportunities, including visiting other mental health courts and attending the NADCP Annual Training Conference
Conduct ongoing program performance assessments
JCMHC is requesting $550,000 in federal funding for the proposed project, which plans to serve 75 individuals over the 36-month project period. Johnson County was a previous recipient of JMHCP funds in 2010 (Award No. 2010-MO-BX-0052).