Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $398,091)
The Pima County Attorney’s Office seeks Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program support in partnership with the 501(c)3 Community Bridges, Inc. (CBI), for continuation and enhancement of the Consolidated Misdemeanor Problem-Solving (CMPS, pronounced “compass”). The court operates a pre-adjudication diversion program for people arrested for minor crimes who have co-occurring substance use and mental disorders. Besides continuing to support the program, this request aims to 1) increase to more than 40 the yearly participants through outreach to Justice and Municipal courts in communities throughout Pima County that have been reluctant to make referrals during the COVID pandemic, and 2) add a layer of restorative justice in the program’s latter stages for participants who may benefit mentally from it. The four-year-old CMPS Court, in the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court Building, 240 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, works with behavioral health and human services contractors. It has overseen up to 34 individuals a year, while adhering closely to the 10 National Association of Drug Court Professionals Drug Court Standards. Individuals referred by their community courts to CMPS Court have the co-occurring disorders and a recent arrest for minor crimes – shoplifting, trespassing, and disorderly conduct, among others. But violent or sexual offenses excludes them. Screening, intake, assessments and therapy use evidence-based determinations (including medication-assisted treatment) and wraparound services in each individualized treatment plan. Some are unhoused, live below poverty level and are jobless. The County Attorney’s Office plans in-house improvements for the DIMS software system to get better demographic and equitable treatment indicators.
In making this request, the Pima County Attorney’s Office partners with co-administrator Community Bridges, Inc., a behavioral health, addiction, transitional housing and other wraparound services provider. This proposal is also done in conjunction with BJA FY22 Community Courts Initiative. JMHCP is already funding the CMPS Court through December 2022. To avoid funding duplication, if awarded, both of those would start in January 2023. (SAMHSA funds the Drug Alternative to Prison (DTAP) program that is also administered by the County Attorney’s Office.)
Coming intentionally late in the participants’ cycle of completing (or leaving) the program, the restorative justice layer would further encourage them to seek work or restart their academic/vocational educations, deal with taking responsibility for their actions, foster healing relationships, and engage in community activities. All those are geared to lessen their law enforcement contacts and strengthen their resolve in turning their lives around.