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Family Court Assessment, Referral, and Treatment (ART) Team Program

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $249,926)

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 New York City Mayor's Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator will use their 2007 JMHCP funds to create the Family Court Assessment, Referral and Treatment (ART) Team Program. This court-based initiative will create a clinical team to work with delinquency judges and other key players in the borough of Queens to coordinate social service and juvenile justice resources for young people with mental health problems, bringing the tools of problem-solving courts to achieve better outcomes for youth with mental health issues while safeguarding public safety.

The ART Team will identify young people at the earliest stages of delinquency proceedings who, with appropriate community-based treatment and supervision, could remain in the community without posing a threat to public safety. The ART Team will conduct mental health evaluations, develop individualized service plans for young detainees and their families, and link the young people and their families to needed services in the community while their delinquency cases are pending.

Providing the Court with timely, comprehensive reports detailing the young person's progress in meeting court mandates, the ART Team will advise Family Court judges on the use of clinically and developmentally appropriate judicial rewards and sanctions to establish accountability and motivate compliance with court mandates. The project will achieve continuity of care in the delivery of mental health services, reduce the use of detention for young people with mental disorders, and increase the opportunities for community-based dispositions.

The Family Court ART clinical team will be responsible for identifying and coordinating assessments of potential program participants, creating individual service plans, making speedy linkage to services, and ensuring that information about mental health services is available to all court parties. The ART Team will also guide parents through both the juvenile justice and mental health systems to ensure that they are involved in planning for their children; assisting families in accessing social services, including housing, education and job training; and be available to confer with families outside of normal business hours.


Date Created: July 30, 2007