Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $900,000)
The Community Court program (CC) began operations in January 2017. Current maximum capacity on any given day is 150 participants based upon current staffing levels with no potential increase in capacity if grant funding is awarded. CC seeks funding of $900,000 to enhance services by providing approximately 43 participants with mental health and/or co-occurring substance use disorder treatment, transitional housing, educational training, and wrap around services to have a better chance at success in the program. Request includes one full time Legal Office Specialist and one full time Court Compliance Officer, two computer terminals for participant access to educational training, bus passes, drug tests, electronic monitoring, and annual homelessness/mental health/substance use community awareness events held by the program team. CC has seen an explosion of referrals into its program due to rapid increase in citation and arrests for low level misdemeanor/quality of life crimes in the Las Vegas Nevada area. The presiding judge, two court coordinators, one office assistant, and operating costs are locally funded. Current federal grants fund substance abuse treatment with wrap around services, yet there is no funding to support mental health treatment, supervision of participants, transitional housing, educational services, or additional essential court team personnel. Of current referrals, numerous participants require transitional housing and/or substance use/mental health treatment. Without these services, the homeless participants face a higher rate of re- arrest or additional police contact simply due to their status as a homeless and/or mentally ill person. Transitional housing and treatment for participants with mental health illness would begin immediately upon funding. All new referrals are assessed by a Specialty Courts Coordinator utilizing standardized screening tools including. CC accepts referrals of individuals with mental health disorders (and/or co-occurring) and undergo mini mental health screenings. There is no discrimination because of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, physical or mental disability, religion, or socioeconomic status in the selection of eligible participants, however, referrals must be 18 years of age or older. Referrals with a violent criminal history/underlying offense or presenting with significant mental health pathology are not accepted into the program. Program is at least nine months in length and is structured to address the individualized needs of the participants. CC will collect data through Odyssey case management system and Nevada Drug Court Case Management (DCCM) System.