Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $550,000)
Enhancing Specialized Mental Health Supervision with a Clinical Case Consultation Model Proposal Abstract
The Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS), the state agency responsible for felony probation and parole in Georgia, submits this application as the fiscal agent in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Development (DBHDD) under Program-Specific Priority Areas 4 and 5 of the 2022 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP; O-BJA-2-22-171081). DCS is not a previous recipient of JMHCP grant funds. However, recent study conducted by DCS in conjunction with the Council of State Governments (CSG) revealed that persons with mental health needs are faring significantly worse on supervision than those without mental illnesses in Georgia. For example, about 65% of individuals with mental illnesses were rearrested compared to 46% without a mental illness.
To address this disparity, we propose a multi-site pilot project to improve Georgia's approach to community supervision for people with mental health needs. The proposed intervention will build workforce capacity and give Community Supervision Officers (CSO) the skills and support needed to effectively assist clients with mental illnesses and connect them to community-based behavioral health services. Specifically, we will increase CSOs' technical skillset and substantive mental health knowledge through ongoing mental health training and monthly clinical case consultation. In addition, we will improve timely access and engagement with mental health services by enhancing officers' networks and relationships with behavioral health service providers and other community resources through stakeholder engagement activities. We will also develop policies and protocols based on best practices (e.g., validated instruments) to identify and prioritize individuals with a moderate to high recidivism risk and needing treatment services. Together, these activities will increase the fidelity and 2 sustainability of Specialized Mental Health Supervision (SMHS), improve officer well-being, and reduce recidivism for justice-involved persons with mental health needs.
To increase the chances of success for this endeavor, DCS will subcontract the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, led by Dr. Tonya Van Deinse, to provide evaluation and implementation assistance. Additionally, DCS will subcontract Gary Cuddeback to provide consultation on the design and implementation of the clinical case consultation model