Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $550,000)
Rockingham County, VA is requesting $550,000 to expand the Rockingham Harrisonburg Justice and Mental Health Collaboration (RHJMHC), a multijurisdictional law enforcement and mental health program overseen by Rockingham County Court Services Unit (RCCSU) in partnership with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Community Services Board (HRCSB). Rockingham County is a previous JMHCP grantee (Award #2019-MO-BX-0010 and #2015-MO-BX-0030). The project area includes Rockingham County (pop. 84.394), which encompasses both suburban and rural communities and the City of Harrisonburg, which serves as the County seat (pop. 51,430). The population is 4.5% Black and 12.9% Hispanic; Harrisonburg is a refugee resettlement community, with more than 50 languages spoken in the city schools.
The purpose is to expand the region’s capacity to divert individuals with mental health disorders (MHDs) or co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (MHSUDs) from incarceration and into appropriate treatment. Proposed activities include increasing law enforcement staffing at the regional crisis assessment center (CITAC) to 24/7, adding a Peer Support Specialist (PSS) or Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP) to the county’s Co-Response Unit (CRU), and engaging regional stakeholders in cross-systems Sequential Intercept Mapping (SIM). We anticipate serving over 2,700 individuals over the course of the grant. Expected outcomes include improved intergovernmental and cross-sector cooperation to identify, treat, and support individuals with MHDs or MHSUDs at risk of criminal justice involvement. The project will enhance and expand the capacity of the CITAC, thereby decreasing officer wait times and promoting public safety. It will also increase wellness checks and follow-up with individuals released from CITAC, jails, and hospitals by PSS, increase specialized services provided to high risk/high need female offenders, and increase diversion from hospitalization, arrest, and incarceration. Additionally, the proposed project will expand and enhance data coordination and utilization among community partners. As subrecipients, HRCSB will hire, train, and provide oversight for the PSS and co-response clinician. Independent evaluators will conduct process and outcome evaluations.
The project will address advancing racial equity and serving rural communities, as well as several program specific priorities, including promotion of effective strategies to identify and treat females with MHDs involved with the CJ system; evidence-based interventions to reduce recidivism; use of validated assessment tools to identify and prioritize individuals who are high risk/high need; a plan to ensure that funds are used for public health and public safety; active participation of partners; and reentry services for incarcerated individuals.