Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $480,298)
The Judiciary of Guam, in collaboration with Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) - Guam’s single state agency for mental health and substance abuse services, submits this project under the FY2022 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP).
Guam’s estimated population in 2020 was 153,836. Chamorros (Guam’s indigenous people) are the largest ethnic group, comprising 37.3% of the total population, Filipinos comprise 26.3%, Caucasians comprise 7.1%, other Pacific Islanders comprise 12%, and other ethnic origins make up 17.3%.
The proposed FY2022 JMHCP is designed to decrease the number of persons with a mental health disorder (MHD) or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder (MHSUD) entering the criminal justice system through effective community-based crisis services. Key objectives include system-wide collaboration, implementing community-based best practices, training first responders, key stakeholders and the community in the Sequential Intercept Model, Mental Health First Aid, and/or Crisis Intervention Training, community education, and improving current MHC services. A mental health treatment clinician will be contracted to perform initial screening and assessments of potential MHC participants. Validated tools will be identified and adopted for collaborative, individualized case planning. The Judiciary will collaborate with GBHWC and other service providers to implement evidence-based interventions - deflection and diversion strategies, develop strategies for early assessment and entry into treatment, and mental health and substance use stabilization.
The project also addresses program evaluation to determine effectiveness, ensure conformity to best practice standards, and identify modifications necessary to adhere to the latest research and best practices.
In 2008, the Judiciary received a JMHCP grant to develop a mental health court (MHC) under award number 2008-MO-BX-0014. In partnership with GBHWC, Guam’s MHC was formally established in 2009 and targeted nonviolent adult offenders diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, intellectual disabilities, and problem behaviors directly resulting from untreated co-occurring disorders. Limited local funding only sustained two staff of the MHC since the expiration of the JMHCP grant in 2011 and services remained stagnant, while mental health and substance use disorder treatment needs increased.
The Judiciary is requesting $480,298 in federal assistance to implement the project and ensure that a prompt, comprehensive, collaborative response is provided to persons with MHD or MHSUD who come into contact with the criminal justice system.