Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $492,312)
Proposal Abstract for Mental Health Collaboration Program
Tucson City Court
Tucson City Court is a limited jurisdiction court that presides over criminal misdemeanors, orders of protection, criminal and civil traffic, and city ordinance violations. The court typically receives over 100,000 filings per year. Over 20,000 misdemeanor cases are filed annually and approximately 40% of these charges are processed through one of the four, and soon to be five, treatment/problem-solving courts. This heavy use of treatment courts is required because of the high level of poverty and the large number of socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals and families in the city.
In Fall 2021, the City Court contracted with the National Center for State Courts to assess the feasibility of establishing a Community Court. Their March 2022 report concluded that Community Court would be a good program for the court to implement. We note several City of Tucson and Tucson Police Department mental health and homelessness initiatives will help build and support this collaboration. This study called for systemic specialty court changes beyond the establishment of a Community Court.
Stakeholders have been convened and will work together with the goal of promoting better outcomes including the use of risk/ needs assessments and evidence-based practices to place the defendant in the most appropriate court. The court will also, through its program partner HOPE, Incorporated use navigators (peer mentors), to facilitate the participation and engagement of the defendant both in court and in services.
With the requested $492,312.00 funding, Tucson City Court will be addressing program specific areas to promote effective strategies and to expand the use of mental health courts and related services. The assessment tool program area will use the CCAT (Criminal Court Assessment Tool) to help determine what court is appropriate and which program approach best fits the offender’s needs.
We expect about 2,000 people per year will participate in these courts. We have not previously been awarded JMHCP funding.
We are requesting priority consideration for advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities per Executive Order 13985.