Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $45,524)
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.
To increase public safety and make more effective use of limited criminal justice resources, the Athens-Clarke Superior and Probate Courts, working with Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, will establish a mental health treatment court for offenders involved in the criminal justice system due to their mental illness. The goal of the Athens-Clarke County Mental Health Diversion Program is to demonstrate that judicial supervision ensures effective mental health and substance abuse treatment, reduces criminal behavior that will lead to fewer arrests and less jail time, and improves the quality of life for the offender and their families. The program will be coordinated by the Athens-Clarke County Mental Health Diversion Program (MHDP) Working Group. The working group will be comprised of representatives from local law enforcement, jail staff, mental health and substance abuse treatment providers, the judiciary, court staff, the district attorney's office, the solicitor's office, the public defender's office, and others.