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Cook County Mental Health Court Expansion

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $200,000)

The Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP), seeks to increase public safety through innovative cross-system collaboration for individuals with mental illness who come into contact with the criminal or juvenile justice systems. This program is funded through the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 (MIOTCRA) (Public Law 108-414). The program is designed to increase public safety by facilitating collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, and mental health and substance abuse treatment systems to increase access to services for offenders with mental illness. Activities under this initiative encourage early intervention for 'system-involved' individuals with mental illness; provides new and existing mental health courts with various treatment options; maximizes diversion opportunities for nonviolent offenders with mental illness and co-occurring disorders; promotes training for justice and treatment professionals on criminal justice processes and mental health and substance abuse issues; and facilitates communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals, treatment and related service providers, and governmental partners.

This award will allow the State of Illinois, through work in Cook County, to address the high rate of criminal behavior exhibited by offenders with mental illness. The funding will assist in the reduction of criminal activities by these individuals by providing assistance through mental health courts, early intervention, collaborative efforts, and diversion programs. A reduction in the crime rate in Cook County, a large urban area, can be a distinct possiblity. The work of this program will allow for duplication in other Illinois jurisdictions that face crime committed by offenders with mental illness.

The Cook County Mental Health Court Expansion Project is designed to lead to greater involvement of program partners, i.e., State's Attorney's Office, community-based case management and treatment providers, local law enforcement, and consumer advocacy groups, to expand and improve services for court-involved adults with mental illness. Services including mental health and substance abuse treatment, emergency housing, case management, family psycho-educational groups, and training for police and probation officers, are expected to lead to significant reductions in jail days and arrests. Funds will be applied to salaries for new probation officers, contracts for services with public and private agencies, travel and training, and other costs.


Date Created: September 9, 2007