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.
The Orleans Parish Criminal District Court will use federal funds for implementation and expansion of services offered by their mental health court. Specifically, the court will use funds to increase services for the mentally ill by (1) implementing a forensic aftercare program to provide intensive treatment, (2) providing Motivational Enhancement Therapy to increase retention, (3) providing an enhanced evaluation by a staff psychiatrist to better connect clients with appropriate treatment needs, and (4) training staff to better equip the team with crisis intervention techniques. As a result of the enhancements, the criminal district court will expect reduced recidivism for their mentally ill offenders.