Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $550,000)
The Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts seeks to expand and institutionalize mental health pretrial treatment services and mental health courts. Building on the work of the Kentucky Judicial Commission on Mental Health, the Administrative Office of the Courts will establish the Mental Health Diversion Initiative. The Mental Health Diversion Initiative will focus on the design and implementation of mental health pretrial diversion programs and mental health court programs. This initiative will utilize principles established in the “State Courts Leading Change Report and Recommendations” published by the National Judicial Task Force to Examine State Courts’ Response to Mental Illness to utilize judicial leadership. The Administrative Office of the Courts will be the lead agency for the project and will partner with two distinct pilot sites establishing a pretrial diversion program and mental health court in each jurisdiction. The project will address advancing Racial Equity and support for underserved communities (1 pilot site) and rural communities (1 pilot site); pilot sites will be selected based on these matching demographic characteristics. Kentucky recognizes that expanding and institutionalizing programs for mental health and co-occurring treatment in pretrial and diversion settings is vital to successful outcomes for individuals in the criminal justice system. Persons charged with non-violent, non-sexual misdemeanors and Class D felonies will be diverted away from jail and into treatment for mental health or co-occurring disorders, while also receiving support and supervision in the community. The project estimates serving a total of 500 individuals.
Planning and on-going technical assistance will be provided by the National Center for State Courts who will also submit a public facing final report, at the conclusion of the project. The Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts is not a previous recipient of a Justice and Mental Health Collaborative Grant. This thirty-six-month grant project proposal requests $550,000 in funding.