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Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program with The Neighborhood Center

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $342,724)

The City of Utica, NY Police Department (UPD) is pleased to submit an application for the BJA FY22 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. The UPD, in partnership with The Neighborhood Center’s Mobile Crisis Assessment Team (MCAT), is requesting $342,723.84 in funding for three years, with a total operating budget of $434,860.02. The UPD and MCAT have not received previous funding under this grant but look forward to consideration under this cycle.

The City of Utica has not been immune to an increase in calls for service by law enforcement involving individuals suffering from mental health diseases (MHDs) and mental health substance use disorders (MHSUDs). In response, the UPD and MCAT were sponsored by local foundations to create a Crisis Response Team (CRT). The CRT serves the 65,283 residents of Utica, which has had a continuous influx of immigrants over the past 40 years and remains ethnically and racially diverse. The City of Utica has had above-average rates of poverty since 2010 and currently has a 27.4% poverty rate.

The primary objective is to maintain the CRT to effectively respond to individuals with MHDs or MHSUDs that are exhibiting behaviors that pose a threat to the public or themselves with a comprehensive wraparound intervention utilizing evidence-based practices. The CRT is staffed by one full-time Crisis Intervention UPD Police Officer and one full-time MCAT Clinical Social Worker. The CRT focuses on proactive mental health services, including outreach, risk screening, mental health assessments, crisis intervention, de-escalation, and intervention to reduce behaviors that are a threat for individual or public harm and/or could be subject to criminal accountability when treatment is more appropriate.

This proposal addresses the program-specific priority areas of Executive Order 13985, promoting effective law enforcement strategies to identify and reduce risk of harm to individuals with MHDs or MHSUDs and the public, promoting effective strategies to expand the use of mental health court and related services, proposing interventions shown by empirical evidence to reduce recidivism, and utilizing validated assessment tools to identify and prioritize individuals at risk for recidivism. This project will increase diversion from Emergency Departments, provide ongoing training to community partners and law enforcement, decrease recidivism, foster consistent cross-agency collaboration to effectively provide individuals experiencing MHDs or MHSUDs access to needed services, and increase law enforcement knowledge of mental health and diversion strategies.

Date Created: September 27, 2022