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Footprints: Leveraging Lived Experience Support within Mental Health Reentry

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, $550,000)

As a prior JMHCP recipient (2015-MO-BX-0013) entitled Halfway House to Home and (O-BJA-2021-95004) entitled Deploying Services: An Informed Continuity of Care Project for Veterans, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Reentry and Integration Division seeks to obtain grant funds for a Manager II position (licensed to oversee a peer support training program) to facilitate peer support training dormitories/cohorts for development of 20 males and/or female inmates as Certified Mental Health Peer Support Specialists (CMHPSS), and the coordination of community employment of up to two (2) graduates with Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical and Mental Impairment (TCOOMMI) services maintaining a maximum caseload of 1:25.  Project certification graduates are anticipated to serve approximately 20 moderate to high-risk community-based adult parole/probationers and 100 institutional based inmates.  A Manager IV will provide oversight of the project staff, ensure project fidelity and data integrity.    

Under Objective 2, this grant proposes to increase community workforce and capacity for certified mental health peer support specialists.  The basic program components will focus on the identification of eligible inmates to participate in a pre-release certification program.  An evidence-based training program will be used.  CMHPSSs will provide additional support, reentry and wraparound services to inmates participating in existing prison mental health services or adult parole/probationers in community based TCOOMMI programs.  CMHPSSs may secure employment providing Medicaid billable services, to include TCOOMMI services, with existing community based mental health service providers.

TCOOMMI funded mental health services are provided through well-established contractual relationships with Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) which cover each county in the state, with psychiatric medication services, aftercare service coordination, joint treatment planning (with criminal justice agencies, social services, health and human service agencies and other appropriate disciplines), and benefits eligibility services and applications provided at no cost to referred parole/probation individuals. 

CMHPSS have been demonstrated to positively impact client self-care engagement, treatment responses that are inclusive of needs, self-esteem, sense of hope, social support, and functioning.  Additionally, use of CMHPSS has shown a correlation to decreases in inpatient hospitalizations, depression, and psychotic symptoms.  Current agency prison and community based mental health services do not include peer support services for this purpose. 

Project planning will be completed during the first 12-months of the award and will include measurable performance outcomes relating to the long-term goals of building workforce capacity for CMHPSS and increased availability of wraparound services to support people with mental health disorders.

Date Created: September 27, 2022