Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $7,621,174)
As the State Administering Agency for the Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program (SCIP) grant number15PBJA-23-GG-00027-BSCI, the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Service (OCJS) has been facilitating the meetings required of the Crisis Intervention Advisory Board ((hereinafter CIAB or Board) for SCIP planning.
During the initial Ohio Crisis Intervention Advisory Board meeting on November 21, 2022, the CIAB discussed SCIP funding plan and areas. Although Byrne SCIP funding can also be used to fund programs and projects related to Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO, otherwise known as “red flag laws”), Ohio does not have an ERPO law in place; thus, our state’s priorities do not include funding for ERPO programs or for law enforcement agencies to safely secure, store, track, and return relinquished guns. The Board requested that OCJS staff focus on projects in the following categories:
Behavioral Health Deflection programs:
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) and/or Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT)
Mobile Crisis Response programs
Crisis Intervention Teams and Training
Sequential Intercept Mapping
Specialized court-based programs:
Specialized court-based programs (i.e. specialized dockets)
Sequential Intercept Mapping
Evaluation and Research
The Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services plans to fund the following initiatives throughout Ohio:
Behavioral Health Deflection Programs
OCJS plans to fund several behavioral health deflection programs. Including Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (ACT and FACT) programs Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a clinical, team-based approach to case management and treatment of individuals with serious and persistent mental illnesses. The multi-disciplinary team includes a medication prescriber and direct service team members who share caseloads. The program has low patient-to-staff ratios (10:1) and will serve no more than 120 individuals. Team members actively seek out and provide services in locations convenient for clients. ACT is often paired with Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT) for clients who are seriously mentally ill and suffer from a substance use disorder.
Research shows ACT is one of oldest/most widely researched EBP in BH for severe mental illness. It has been evaluated since the late 1980s and there have been dozens of controlled studies – a third of which specifically evaluated ACT implementations with non-White populations. Results consistently demonstrate client improvement in global functioning, and reductions in homelessness, psychiatric hospitalization and justice system involvement. The cost is approximately $19,000 per client, per year.
Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) is an adaptation of ACT for individuals involved in the criminal justice system.
Individual ACT and FACT teams are being identified at this time and will be sent to BJA for approval prior to awarding funding.
Goal: To expand ACT and FACT teams throughout the state of Ohio.
Also included are Mobile Crisis Teams (MCTs)
MCTs groups of mental health professionals who respond to calls for service at the request of LE as well as calls from community members or their families and friends. The Ohio CIAB has approved funding for three Mobile Crisis Response Teams projects covering four counties with the goal of provide community-based services to decrease arrests of mentally ill individuals. The teams focus on de-escalation, stabilization, assessment, and treatment to those in crisis. The teams are composed of licensed therapists and/or psychiatrists, available 24/7, and open to any individual of all ages for urgent intervention.
Goal: To provide expanded in-person MH assessment to those in crisis and at risk of harm to self or others.
Another project area is Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) & Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM) Crisis Response programs are community-based approaches, create unarmed teams of social workers, mental health specialists, and medical staff that act as an alternative to police by responding to people in behavioral crises. The specialized teams deliver crisis intervention, counseling, mediation, and referral services along with transportation to social services, first aid, and basic-level emergency medical care. These teams reduce unnecessary police contact by diverting low-level calls for service away from the police as well as diverting individuals from emergency rooms, jails, and psychiatric facilities. Collaboration with the local police department is a necessary component of these programs.
Sequential intercept mapping is a cross-system exercise to identify potential opportunities to divert people with mental illness and substance use disorders from the criminal justice system to treatment at five intercept points, from pre-arrest through reentry. It brings together community stakeholders to examine resources, needs, current efforts, and gaps. The process promotes stakeholder collaboration to identify solutions to address gaps and issues across all intercept points. For SIM North Eastern Ohio Medical University provides training on sequential intercept mapping. to new juvenile SIM facilitators. And up to seven SIM mapping exercises to be selected through Stepping Up and/or solicitation will be conducted. As well as offer training for additional adult SIM facilitators.
Goal: To identify provide sequential intercept mapping of Ohio needs as well as train more Crisis Intervention Teams throughout the state.
Specialized Court-based Programs
A project area in the category includes Court Technology For the technology upgrade piece OCJS will investment in expansion/upgrades of case management systems that could more quickly/easily report required information to Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation related to disqualifying offenses for fire arm purchases. OCJS is working with the Supreme Court of Ohio (SCO) to identify courts throughout the state that are in need of upgrades. As of now 77% of adult criminal courts report electronically and 11% of juvenile courts (10 counties) report electronically.
Goal: To expand technology to courts to help report required information on disqualifying offenses for fire arm purchase.
The second category in this section is Specialty Dockets
For the Specialty Dockets OCJS will work with the Supreme Court to expand Mental Health Courts, Veteran’s Treatment Courts, and Juvenile Mental Health and Drug Treatment Courts. As of now the state of Ohio has 26 certified Juvenile Mental Health, Drug and Treatment Courts located in 22 of 88 Ohio counties, 29 certified Drug-Veterans Treatment, and 41 certified Mental Health (includes 5 juvenile).
Goal: Expand specialized dockets focused on mental health, juvenile mental health, drug treatment and veteran’s treatment throughout the state.
A final program area for funding is Evaluation and Research
Given that Ohio is not an ERPO state, the Board requested a research component be pursued for projects in both the specialized dockets and the mobile crisis response teams. As a result, OCJS staff worked with the SCO to identify two courts that have had a specialized docket in operation for some length of time with enough participants for an evaluation. The Board was presented at its October 2023 meeting with the possibility of funding research to evaluate a current a mental health docket and a current juvenile docket. A portion of Ohio’s funds has been set aside for the court evaluation. The two courts identified for evaluation have agreed to participate and are awaiting next steps, once the Board and OCJS receive BJA Approval. Similarly, if BJA approves of Ohio’s plan in the evaluation field, OCJS will release an RFP for both project areas (court evaluation and mobile crisis response team evaluation), once all projects are awarded and underway in the mobile crisis response space.
Goal: Evaluate the process, procedures and effectiveness of specialized dockets as well as a mobile crisis response teams in Ohio.
 While still eligible to fund the securing of relinquished guns for other purposes, the Crisis Intervention Advisory Board decided that this priority area is better suited to states implementing ERPO laws.