Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $49,920)
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.
The goal of Project Safe Harbor, developed by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections' Youth Services, is to design a strategic, collaborative plan to improve access to quality mental health and substance abuse services for youth at risk of entering or who are involved with the juvenile justice system. Project Safe Harbor will achieve this goal by: incorporating multiple state planning projects into a juvenile justice/mental health state level implementation plan; creating a minimum of 35 local Children and Youth Planning Boards to increase access to mental health & substance abuse for youth, emphasizing diversions at early intercept points; creating nine regional implementation plans to increase diversion and early access to mental health and substance abuse treatment for children and youth; and addressing cross agency professional development for law enforcement, health providers, juvenile justice system, and local planning boards. A state working group of agency and consumer stakeholders will oversee Project Safe Harbor. The working group will be convened by the Louisiana Office of Youth Development in collaboration with the Department of Health and Hospitals (Offices of Mental Health, Addictive Disorders, and Developmental Disabilities), and include representatives from the Department of Social Services, Children's Cabinet, Mental Health Planning Council, and LA Federation of Families.